Archaeological dating definition

Carbon-14, an isotope of the common carbon-12, has a half-life of around 5,730 years.It’s found throughout the food chain – it’s taken up by plants for photosynthesis, then eaten by herbivores which are, in turn, eaten by carnivores – so is usually used to date samples which were once alive, from woolly mammoths to Egyptian mummies.If you want to know the precise age of something, absolute dating techniques are the only option.

Their overall plan imitated the Chinese, who had already developed porcelain factories for the production of vessels explicitly designed for export.

The more carbon-14, the younger the specimen, while a higher proportion of carbon-12 indicates an older specimen.

Moving into 100,000-year timescales and beyond, argon and potassium are often used to uncover the age of ancient bones and geological formations.

The Europeans also attempted to mimic the porcelain itself by initially producing white-bodied earthenwares with blue decorations similar to those found on the Asian wares.

European potters viewed their glaze formulas, decorative motifs, and production techniques as company-owned trade secrets, and because they worked within a competitive commercial environment, they usually kept meticulous records of their patterns,...

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This neutron addition or subtraction can also make the isotope unstable.

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