Old wood effect radiocarbon dating

17 May

A unique characteristic of 14C is that it is constantly formed in the atmosphere.

Production and decay 14C atoms are produced in the upper atmosphere where neutrons from cosmic rays knock a proton from nitrogen-14 atoms.

Scientists have developed calibration techniques to adjust for these fluctuations.

While alive, all plants and animals take C14 into their bodies.

Libby reasoned that since the half-life of C years, the Djoser sample’s C14 concentration should be about 50% of the concentration found in living wood (for further details, see Arnold and Libby, 1949). Subsequent work with radiocarbon testing raised questions about the fluctuation of atmospheric C14 over time.

The effect, highlighted by the erroneous date from the carbonised residue on Sönkes’ ceramic sherd, persuaded The AMS 14C Dating Centre at Aarhus University in Denmark that they needed to carry out further investigations.

The Radiocarbon Revolution Since its development by Willard Libby in the 1940s, radiocarbon (14C) dating has become one of the most essential tools in archaeology.

Archaeologists believe Egypt’s large pyramids are the work of the Old Kingdom society that rose to prominence in the Nile Valley after 3000 B. Historical analysis tells us that the Egyptians built the Giza Pyramids in a span of 85 years between 25 BC.

Interest in Egyptian chronology is widespread in both popular and scholarly circles.