Carbon 14 dating correction curve

Some of the first radiocarbon dates produced showed that the Scottish tombs were thousands of years older than those in Greece.The barbarians of the north were capable of designing complex structures similar to those in the classical world.From these records a “calibration curve” can be built (see figure 2, below).A huge amount of work is currently underway to extend and improve the calibration curve.In 2008 we could only calibrate radiocarbon dates until 26,000 years.Now the curve extends (tentatively) to 50,000 years.In this way large domed tombs (known as tholos or beehive tombs) in Greece were thought to predate similar structures in the Scottish Island of Maeshowe.

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Australia has two machines dedicated to radiocarbon analysis, and they are out of reach for much of the developing world.Radioactive decay can be used as a “clock” because it is unaffected by physical (e.g. For instance, the amount varies according to how many cosmic rays reach Earth.

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