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How are dates measured?

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How are dates measured? Accurate dating of archaeological remains is a relatively recent science. Wooden objects up to 8,000 years old can be dated by examining the growth rings in the wood. By studying the rings of very old, but still living trees, they can be dated very accurately, so surviving wooden implements and utensils can be dated exactly.
Radiocarbon dating takes us back much further.

A radioactive form of carbon decays at a very slow rate, which can be measured exactly. By measuring the amount of carbon-12 and carbon-14 in a small piece of organic material, objects as old as 50,000 years ago can be dated.

Buried objects are often dated by looking at, and dating, nearby objects buried at the same time.

Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic writing had long been indecipherable. The discovery of the Rosetta stone provided the key to understanding the ancient Egyptian script.

Tags: science, dating, archeology

Category: Education  - ( Education Archive)

Date Added: 03 January '12

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