Dating ancient works

A man called Willard F Libby pioneered it at the University of Chicago in the 50's. This is now the most widely used method of age estimation in the field of archaeology.

Instead, other methods are used to work out a fossil’s age.

He concluded that they belonged to a Roman-era witch or prostitute.

“He did a good job of excavating, but he interpreted it totally wrong,” says Tom Higham, a 46-year-old archaeological scientist at the University of Oxford's Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit.

Cosmic rays enter the earth's atmosphere in large numbers every day and when one collides with an atom in the atmosphere, it can create a secondary cosmic ray in the form of an energetic neutron.

When Higham eventually got the bones, his team came up with a more likely scenario: they were closer to 33,000 years old and one of the earliest examples of ceremonial burial in Western Europe.'Now, for the very first time, [we] managed to get radiocarbon techniques so good, that we can do it completely the opposite way around.We can say, from using radiocarbon, whether the Egyptian history is correct or not.It was developed right after World War II by Willard F.Libby and coworkers, and it has provided a way to determine the ages of different materials in archeology, geology, geophysics, and other branches of science.

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