Accelerator techniques for carbon dating
Shells of known age collected prior to nuclear testing have also been dated ( to ascertain the effects of old carbon (i.e., local marine reservoir effects). However, the most common materials dated by archaeologists are wood charcoal, shell, and bone. In brief, radiocarbon dating measures the amount of radioactive carbon 14 (14C) in a sample.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.
Regardless of the particular 14C technique used, the value of this tool for archaeology has clearly been appreciated.
The formula used for this calculation is: Radiocarbon age (years BP) = -C in 1950 AD (pre-bomb) material.