Start Carbon dating wood

Carbon dating wood

Carbon-14 has a half-life of 5,730 ± 40 years, meaning that every 5,700 years or so the object loses half its carbon-14.

Radiocarbon or C14 dating employs complex systems of measuring the unstable isotopes in once living matter.

There are three forms of carbon that naturally occur forming the building blocks of all plant and animal life.

The most important archaeological dating method is radiocarbon dating.

It is a technique that can yield absolute dates with accuracy up to approximately 5000 years before present.

The radiocarbon method measures the rate of decay in the C14 of organic matter therefore estimating how long ago death occurred.

Archaeologists can use this method to date bone, teeth, plants, seeds, burned food remains, coprolites, wood, and any artefact that contains organic materials such as an iron axe head (iron cannot be tested using C14) with a wooden handle or a bronze spear with a wooden shaft.

These atoms rapidly decay into radiocarbon-dioxide and along with ordinary CO2 are absorbed by living plants.