Start Radiocarbon dating is only accurate for objects

Radiocarbon dating is only accurate for objects

Trees maintain carbon 14 equilibrium in their growth rings—and trees produce a ring for every year they are alive.

The latest curves were ratified at the 21st International Radiocarbon Conference in July of 2012.

Within the last few years, a new potential source for further refining radiocarbon curves is Lake Suigetsu in Japan.

It was the first absolute scientific method ever invented: that is to say, the technique was the first to allow a researcher to determine how long ago an organic object died, whether it is in context or not.

Shy of a date stamp on an object, it is still the best and most accurate of dating techniques devised.

All living things exchange the gas Carbon 14 (C14) with the atmosphere around them—animals and plants exchange Carbon 14 with the atmosphere, fish and corals exchange carbon with dissolved C14 in the water.

Throughout the life of an animal or plant, the amount of C14 is perfectly balanced with that of its surroundings. The C14 in a dead organism slowly decays at a known rate: its "half life".

Radiocarbon dating is one of the best known archaeological dating techniques available to scientists, and the many people in the general public have at least heard of it.