Radiocarbon dating in archaeology
Much of his current research is directed to improving radiocarbon as a method for quaternary research. He is a member of the international INTCAL committee that oversees the calibration of radiocarbon. Through photosynthesis, plants absorb both forms from carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.When an organism dies, it contains a ratio of carbon 14 to carbon 12.
The level is affected by variations in the cosmic ray intensity, which is, in turn, affected by variations in the Earth’s magnetosphere.In addition, there are substantial reservoirs of carbon in organic matter, the ocean, ocean sediments, and sedimentary rock.Changes in the Earth’s climate can affect the carbon flows between these reservoirs and the atmosphere, leading to changes in the atmosphere’s carbon 14 fraction.Finally, although radiocarbon dating is the most common and widely used chronometric technique in archaeology today, it is not unfailing. Whenever possible multiple samples should be collected and dated from associated sections.The trend of the samples will provide a ball park estimate of the actual date of deposition.