Process of carbon 14 dating

19 Apr

Carbon-14 dating is a way of determining the age of certain archeological artifacts of a biological origin up to about 50,000 years old.It is used in dating things such as bone, cloth, wood and plant fibers that were created in the relatively recent past by human activities.­ ­You probably have seen or read news stories about fascinating ancient artifacts.

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However, as the quantity of 14 absorbed by all life fluctuates from year to year, the figure must be calibrated based on known fluctuation.

Libby had first started using the dating method in 1946 and the early testing required relatively large samples, so testing on scrolls themselves only became feasible when methods used in the dating process were improved upon. Davies made a request to date a number of scrolls, which led to a series of tests carried out in Zurich on samples from fourteen scrolls.

Among these were samples from other sites around the Dead Sea, which contained date indications within the text to supply a control for the carbon dating results.

The following table shows all the Qumran-related samples that were tested by Zurich (Z), Tucson (T) and Libby (L).

The column headed "14C Age" provides a raw age before 1950 for each sample tested.