Radiocarbon dating in archaeology johnny cache not invalidating

Organic matter, being porous, can easily be contaminated by organic carbon in groundwater.

This increases the C12 content and interferes with the carbon ratio.

The honest archaeologist can no longer propose theories and ideas without bringing a wider plate of evidences to the history table.

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The stable C12 and C13, and the unstable or radioactive Carbon 14. Only one C14 atom exists for every one trillion C12 atoms.

Nitrogen atoms in the upper atmosphere are struck by cosmic radiation and create C14 atoms.

For radiocarbon dating to be reliable scientists need to make a number of vital assumptions.

Firstly, Dr Libby assumed that C14 decays at a constant rate.

However, experimental evidence indicates that C14 decay is slowing down and that millennia ago it decayed much faster than is observed today.

Secondly, the theory behind C14 dating demands that there is the same rate of cosmic production of radioactive isotopes throughout time.

The industrial revolution has belched hundreds of thousands of tons of carbon gases into the atmosphere increasing the C12 ratio and atomic weapons testing have increased neutron levels.

Thirdly, the environment in which the artefact lies heavily impacts on the rate of decay.

A petrified miner’s hat and wooden fence posts were unearthed from an abandoned 19th century gold hunter’s town in Australia’s outback.

Results from radiocarbon dating said that they were 6000 years old.

There are a number of articles on the subject that can easily be found on the internet and these cover the many pitfalls that can be encountered, such as the use of fossil carbon sources such as coal to make iron.

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