Radioactive dating in archaeology

For example, if a tree was found to be used in an excavated piece of architecture, by determining the age of the tree or the period when the tree was cut down for construction, the era to which the excavated architecture exactly belongs can be estimated (Michels, J W). Based on this constant of the radioisotope of carbon, 14-C or carbon -14 the age of the organic material is assessed.

The Method of Carbon-14 Technique Archaeologists rely on the various radiometric dating techniques- based on the radioactive properties of unstable chemical atoms to determine the age of the materials. In the biosphere carbon-14 is created by the collision of a neutron, exited by the cosmic ray collides with a nitrogen atom.

Though still heavily used, relative dating is now augmented by several modern dating techniques.

Radiocarbon dating involves determining the age of an ancient fossil or specimen by measuring its carbon-14 content.

Developed by a team of researchers under the leadership of Dr.

Taylor (1987) suggests C-14 technique as one of the most significant discoveries of 20thcentury that touches the realms of many disciplines including archaeology.

Prior to the development of radiocarbon dating it was difficult to determine the age of the artifacts unless it was accompanied with some chronologically specific things like a coin.

Carbon-14, or radiocarbon, is a naturally occurring radioactive isotope that forms when cosmic rays in the upper atmosphere strike nitrogen molecules, which then oxidize to become carbon dioxide.

Green plants absorb the carbon dioxide, so the population of carbon-14 molecules is continually replenished until the plant dies.

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