You can work out that after about 50 000 years of time, all the radiocarbon will have gone.Therefore, radiocarbon dating is not able to date anything older than 60 or 70 000 years old.Carbon follows this pathway through the food chain on Earth so that all living things are using carbon, building their bodies until they die.
During the period of a plant's life, the plant is taking in carbon dioxide through photosynthesis, which is how the plant makes energy and grows.
Animals eat plants, and some eat other animals in the food chain.
The radiocarbon method was developed by a team of scientists led by the late Professor Willard F.
Libby of the University of Chicago after the end of World War 2.
We know that it is older than Christendom, but whether by a couple of years or a couple of centuries, or even by more than a millenium, we can do no more than guess." [Rasmus Nyerup, (Danish antiquarian), 1802 (in Trigger, 19)].
The person who wrote these words lived in the 1800s, many years before archaeologists could accurately date materials from archaeological sites using scientific methods.
Welcome to the K12 section of the Radiocarbon WEBinfo site.
The aim here is to provide clear, understandable information relating to radiocarbon dating for the benefit of K12 students, as well as lay people who are not requiring detailed information about the method of radiocarbon dating itself.
They used pottery and other materials in sites to date 'relatively'.