Radiocarbon dating stone tools

Plant eating animals (herbivores and omnivores) get their carbon by eating plants.Love-hungry teenagers and archaeologists agree: dating is hard.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.But while the difficulties of single life may be intractable, the challenge of determining the age of prehistoric artifacts and fossils is greatly aided by measuring certain radioactive isotopes.

Here we propose several approaches to deconvolute the different exposure periods and better approximate the real age of the artifacts.

As there is no a priori reason that the two ages should agree with the typological ages of the artifacts, nor for the two independent ages to agree, these first results are especially exciting and intriguing.

Lithic means stone and in archaeological terms it is applied to any stone that has been modified in any way whatsoever by humans.

It can be applied to most organic materials and spans dates from a few hundred years ago right back to about 50,000 years ago - about when modern humans were first entering Europe.

For radiocarbon dating to be possible, the material must once have been part of a living organism.

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