Dating ancient objects
Radiocarbon dating also referred to as carbon dating or carbon dating is a method for determining the age of an object containing organic material by using the properties of radiocarbon , a radioactive isotope of carbon. The method was developed in the late s at the University of Chicago by Willard Libby , who received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work in It is based on the fact that radiocarbon 14 C is constantly being created in the atmosphere by the interaction of cosmic rays with atmospheric nitrogen. The resulting 14 C combines with atmospheric oxygen to form radioactive carbon dioxide , which is incorporated into plants by photosynthesis ; animals then acquire 14 C by eating the plants.
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Dating Techniques In Archaeology
DATING METHODS IN ARCHAEOLOGY
A child mummy is found high in the Andes and the archaeologist says the child lived more than 2, years ago. How do scientists know how old an object or human remains are? What methods do they use and how do these methods work? In this article, we will examine the methods by which scientists use radioactivity to determine the age of objects, most notably carbon dating.
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Archaeology is one of Kelley's great passions. He's read many books on the subject, as well as every issue of "Archaeology" since In times past, things that appeared old were simply considered old, maybe as old as the story of Atlantis, the biblical flood or the earth itself, but nobody knew for certain how old anything was. Then in the early twentieth century scientists began using absolute dating techniques, perhaps the most prominent of which is carbon It would be hard to imagine modern archaeology without this elegant and precise dating method.
There are undoubtedly millions of amazing artifacts from the ancient world that have served to shed light on the lives of our ancestors from many millennia ago. But some stand out for their uniqueness, their intrigue, or their ability to expand our knowledge about previously unknown aspects of our history. Here we feature ten such artifacts. We have intentionally chosen not to feature well-known artifacts such as the Antikythera Mechanism, Baghdad Battery, Viking Sunstone and many other famous relics. Rather, we wished to highlight some lesser known but equally incredible artifacts from the ancient world.