Reliability of carbon dating
However, results have a tendency to support the person paying.
For dates that are both important and contentious, it is usual to employ a number of laboratories for samples from the same source in an effort to reduce bias.
Lake Suigetsu's annually formed sediments hold detailed information about environmental changes over the past 50,000 years, which radiocarbon specialist PJ Reimer believes will be as good as, and perhaps better than, samples cores from the Greenland Ice Sheet. report 808 AMS dates based on sediment varves measured by three different radiocarbon laboratories.
The dates and corresponding environmental changes promise to make direct correlations between other key climate records, allowing researchers such as Reimer to finely calibrate radiocarbon dates between 12,500 to the practical limit of c14 dating of 52,800.
It was the first absolute scientific method ever invented: that is to say, the technique was the first to allow a researcher to determine how long ago an organic object died, whether it is in context or not.
Shy of a date stamp on an object, it is still the best and most accurate of dating techniques devised.
Given relatively pristine circumstances, a radiocarbon lab can measure the amount of radiocarbon accurately in a dead organism for as long as 50,000 years ago; after that, there's not enough C14 left to measure. Carbon in the atmosphere fluctuates with the strength of earth's magnetic field and solar activity.
Reimer of the CHRONO Centre for Climate, the Environment and Chronology, at Queen's University Belfast, began building an extensive dataset and calibration tool that they first called CALIB.The latest curves were ratified at the 21st International Radiocarbon Conference in July of 2012.Within the last few years, a new potential source for further refining radiocarbon curves is Lake Suigetsu in Japan.Then, scholars playing mind games will get a late-BCE date and place the manuscripts as BCE, when all they have is the date a herd of goats was killed, and the resultant manuscripts were written decades later, CE.
They will also take the date range, say 70–90 BCE, and use only the 70.
Radiocarbon dating is one of the best known archaeological dating techniques available to scientists, and the many people in the general public have at least heard of it.