Cost of radio carbon dating
I have tried here to answer some of the frequently asked questions that I receive from students via email, as well as providing some basic information about scientific dating methods."Everything which has come down to us from heathendom is wrapped in a thick fog; it belongs to a space of time we cannot measure.They used pottery and other materials in sites to date 'relatively'.They thought that sites which had the same kinds of pots and tools would be the same age.
Today, there are over 130 radiocarbon dating laboratories around the world producing radiocarbon dates for the scientific community.The relative dating method worked very well, but only in sites which were had a connection to the relative scale. When radiocarbon dating was developed, it revolutionised archaeology, because it enabled them to more confidently date the past, and to build a more accurate picture of the human past.The archaeologist Colin Renfrew (1973) called it the development of this dating method 'the radiocarbon revolution' in describing its great impact upon the human sciences.Rasmus Nyerup's quote reminds us of the tremendous scientific advances which have taken place in the 20th century.In Nyerup's time, archaeologists could date the past only by using recorded histories, which in Europe were based mainly on the Egyptian calendar.
The half-life refers to the amount of time it takes for half the radiocarbon in a sample of bone or shell or any carbon sample to disappear.