Age range dating

Radiocarbon analyses are carried out at specialized laboratories around the world (see a list of labs at: When a biological organism dies, the radioactive carbon in its body begins to break down or decay.

This process of decay occurs at a regular rate and can be measured.

Bioturbation by crabs, rodents, and other animals can also cause samples to move between strata leading to age reversals.

Shell may succumb to isotopic exchange if it interacts with carbon from percolating ground acids or recrystallization when shell aragonite transforms to calcite and involves the exchange of modern calcite.

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By comparing the amount of carbon 14 remaining in a sample with a modern standard, we can determine when the organism died, as for example, when a shellfish was collected or a tree cut down.

Alone, or in concert, these factors can lead to inaccuracies and misinterpretations by archaeologists without proper investigation of the potential problems associated with sampling and dating.

Thus a great deal of care is taken in securing and processing samples and multiple samples are often required if we want to be confident about assigning a date to a site, feature, or artifact (read more about the radiocarbon dating technique at:

Let’s say you’re a 60-year-old lawyer, nearing retirement and looking for that special someone.

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