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These processes result in All of these processes confuse the stratigraphic record.In many cases, however, it is possible to reconstruct the original sequence of strata so that they can be used for relative dating. Carbon dating has given archeologists a more accurate method by which they can determine the age of ancient artifacts.

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However, the assumption of contemporaneity may not always be correct.

This is due to the fact that one or both of the objects may have been moved or redeposited into a different location.

Radiocarbon dating is used to work out the age of things that died up to 50,000 years ago. As far as working out the age of long-dead things goes, carbon has got a few things going for it. The proteins, carbohydrates and fats that make up much of our tissues are all based on carbon.

Everything from the fibres in the Shroud of Turin to Otzi the Iceman has had their birthday determined the carbon-14 way. There's plenty of hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen in living things too, but carbon's got something none of them do — a radioactive isotope that can take thousands of years to decay.

For instance, if we find a fossil bone below the strata 3 rock level shown above, we assume that the animal most likely lived at a time before that layer was formed.

Last modified 28-Nov-2019 15:37