The unstable and radioactive carbon 14, called radiocarbon, is a naturally occurring isotope of the element carbon.
When a living thing dies, it stops interacting with the biosphere, and the carbon 14 in it remains unaffected by the biosphere but will naturally undergo decay.
Before deciding on using carbon dating as an analytical method, an archaeologist must first make sure that the results of radiocarbon dating after calibration can provide the needed answers to the archaeological questions asked.
The implication of what is represented by the carbon 14 activity of a sample must be considered.
The process of radiocarbon dating starts with the analysis of the carbon 14 left in a sample.Laboratories have limitations in terms of the samples they can process for radiocarbon dating. Laboratories must also be consulted as to the required amount of sample that they ideally like to process as well as their preference with certain samples for carbon dating.Other labs accept waterlogged wood while others prefer them dry at submission.Studying the material remains of past human life and activities may not seem important or exciting to the average Joe unlike the biological sciences.But archaeology’s aim to understand mankind is a noble endeavor that goes beyond uncovering buried treasures, gathering information, and dating events.Calibration is then done to convert BP years into calendar years.This information is then related to true historical dates.Archaeology has undoubtedly enriched mankind’s history like no other science.There is a greater part of man’s unwritten past that archaeology has managed to unravel.Contaminants must not be introduced to the samples during collection and storing.Hydrocarbons, glue, biocides, polyethylene glycol, or polyvinylacetate must not come in contact with samples for radiocarbon dating.