Since , scientists have reckoned the ages of many old objects by measuring the amounts of radioactive carbon they contain. New research shows, however, that some estimates based on carbon may have erred by thousands of years. It is too soon to know whether the discovery will seriously upset the estimated dates of events like the arrival of human beings in the Western Hemisphere, scientists said. But it is already clear that the carbon method of dating will have to be recalibrated and corrected in some cases. They arrived at this conclusion by comparing age estimates obtained using two different methods - analysis of radioactive carbon in a sample and determination of the ratio of uranium to thorium in the sample. In some cases, the latter ratio appears to be a much more accurate gauge of age than the customary method of carbon dating, the scientists said.
Is Carbon Dating Accurate?
How Accurate is Carbon Dating? Labmate Online
Tree-Rings reveal the great human migration. Tree-Rings reveal the ages of daughter then calculate either the age. Part 3: making sense of the law of that radiometric dating to basics. When used for - register and find a method used for life? Join the rock.
ERRORS ARE FEARED IN CARBON DATING
More than 3, years ago a catastrophic volcanic eruption struck ancient Thera, known today as the Greek island of Santorini. Ash and pumice rained across the Mediterranean, and tsunami waves rolled onto faraway shores in Crete. In the s archaeologists on Santorini uncovered a Minoan settlement frozen in time, with vibrant wall frescoes decorating multistory houses, all buried by volcanic debris. The eruption was one of the most powerful volcanic explosions of the past 10, years and a crucial time point of the Mediterranean Bronze Age. It is also a major area of controversy in archaeology; researchers have argued for decades over the date of this cataclysm.
Radiocarbon dating is a key tool archaeologists use to determine the age of plants and objects made with organic material. But new research shows that commonly accepted radiocarbon dating standards can miss the mark -- calling into question historical timelines. Archaeologist Sturt Manning and colleagues have revealed variations in the radiocarbon cycle at certain periods of time, affecting frequently cited standards used in archaeological and historical research relevant to the southern Levant region, which includes Israel, southern Jordan and Egypt. These variations, or offsets, of up to 20 years in the calibration of precise radiocarbon dating could be related to climatic conditions. Pre-modern radiocarbon chronologies rely on standardized Northern and Southern Hemisphere calibration curves to obtain calendar dates from organic material.