Dating sites for educators

An initial reading dates the specimen which is then calibrated by considering this date and its correspondence with the measurable level of carbon 14 stored over time in the growth rings of certain tree species, including redwood and pine bristol.The results of radiocarbon dating are expressed in years and include a time range (eg, 630± 60 BP).Crossdating is an important principle in dendrochronology.

Following the death of an organism, any exchange ceases and the carbon 14, which is radioactive and therefore unstable, slowly begins to disintegrate at a known rate (half-life of 5730 years, ie, after this period only half of the total carbon 14 present at the time of death remains).The amount of carbon 14 remaining in the material to date is compared to a reference standard (ratio 14C/total carbon, 12C and 13C) to calculate the time elapsed since its occurrence.A sample requires 10 to 20 grams of matter and usually consists of charred organic material, mainly charcoal, but bones (zooarchaeology) and shells can also be dated using this technique.There are two main categories of dating methods in archaeology: indirect or relative dating and absolute dating.Relative dating includes methods that rely on the analysis of comparative data or the context (eg, geological, regional, cultural) in which the object one wishes to date is found.

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