Isotopes used dating archaeological finds

Radiocarbon dating can be used on samples of bone, cloth, wood and plant fibers.The half-life of a radioactive isotope describes the amount of time that it takes half of the isotope in a sample to decay.The analysis has shown that the Pazyryk barrow is younger by 80 or -4 yr than the Dogee-Baary-2 burials.

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Radiocarbon dating uses the naturally occurring isotope Carbon-14 to approximate the age of organic materials. Often, archaeologists use graves and plant remains to date sites.

Since its conception by Willard Libby in 1949, it has been invaluable to the discipline.

In the case of radiocarbon dating, the half-life of carbon 14 is 5,730 years.

This half life is a relatively small number, which means that carbon 14 dating is not particularly helpful for very recent deaths and deaths more than 50,000 years ago.

In fact, many important archaeological artifacts have been dated using this method including some of the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Shroud of Turin.