Contamination dating radiocarbon

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As explained below, the radiocarbon date tells us when the organism was alive (not when the material was used).

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Radiocarbon dating is a widely applied absolute dating method in archeology.

It is based on the knowledge that living organisms build up their own organic matter by photosynthesis or by using atmospheric carbon dioxide.

with a standard deviation of plus or minus 120 years, the chances are two in three that that sample dates from between 1120 and 880 BC.

Here's how: Calculations based on one standard deviation of 120 years: 1000 120 = 1120 BC (Oldest date) 1000 - 120 = 880 BC (Most recent date) To increase the range of possible dates of a sample, archeologists may calculate the radiocarbon date to two standard deviations.

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