Radiocarbon dating stone tools

This fact should always be remembered when using radiocarbon dates.The dating process is always designed to try to extract the carbon from a sample which is most representative of the original organism.This means that things like stone, metal and pottery cannot usually be directly dated by this means unless there is some organic material embedded or left as a residue.As explained below, the radiocarbon date tells us when the organism was alive (not when the material was used).In general it is always better to date a properly identified single entity (such as a cereal grain or an identified bone) rather than a mixture of unidentified organic remains.Common materials for radiocarbon dating are: The radiocarbon formed in the upper atmosphere is mostly in the form of carbon dioxide. Because the carbon present in a plant comes from the atmosphere in this way, the radio of radiocarbon to stable carbon in the plant is virtually the same as that in the atmosphere.

The site is at elevation 240 m and is about 15 km from the Nile.Green plants absorb the carbon dioxide, so the population of carbon-14 molecules is continually replenished until the plant dies.Carbon-14 is also passed onto the animals that eat those plants.While the methodological sequence was in general successful and some artefact residues were dated within the anticipated age range, difficulties were encountered with other lithic residues.Some artefact residues attained AMS dates which appear to be affected by modern contaminants and other residue radiocarbon dates were seemingly affected by fossil shell derived from flint stone, plasticizers or from a fixative substance older than the fabrication and use of the artefact.

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