Cultural dating archaeology
History, anthropology, and archaeology are three distinct but closely related bodies of knowledge that tell man of his present by virtue of his past.Historians can tell what cultures thrived in different regions and when they disintegrated.Decay of carbon 14 takes thousands of years, and it is this wonder of nature that forms the basis of radiocarbon dating and made this carbon 14 analysis a powerful tool in revealing the past.The process of radiocarbon dating starts with the analysis of the carbon 14 left in a sample.Some samples, like wood, already ceased interacting with the biosphere and have an apparent age at death and linking them to the age of the deposits around the sample would not be wholly accurate.
There is a greater part of man’s unwritten past that archaeology has managed to unravel.
The proportion of carbon 14 in the sample examined provides an indication of the time elapsed since death of the sample’s source.
Radiocarbon dating results are reported in uncalibrated years BP (Before Present), where BP is defined as AD 1950.
The unstable and radioactive carbon 14, called radiocarbon, is a naturally occurring isotope of the element carbon.
When a living thing dies, it stops interacting with the biosphere, and the carbon 14 in it remains unaffected by the biosphere but will naturally undergo decay.