Applications of radiocarbon dating in archaeology

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Funding of research undertaken by the lab (including radiocarbon dates measured for our own research) is through peer reviewed grants from the ERC, the NERC, the Leverhulme Trust and other research funding agencies depending on the application.

The University of Oxford provides the basic infrastructure of the laboratory and a proportion of the academic staff costs.

ANSTO has been involved in dating the Kelly Gang's armour and key periods in the history of the urban complex at Angkor in Cambodia, once the capital of a vast medieval empire that incorporated most of mainland Southeast Asia during 12/13th Centuries.

A team examined land use change to gain a better understanding of the cause of Angkor's decline.

This dating can be used on once-living items and can provide information on related spaces.

For example, an age can be estimated for a strata of rock based on the age of the skeletons it holds. Libby, a professor at the University of Chicago, in 1949.

Seldom has a single discovery generated such wide public interest.” Carbon dating was initially used by archeologists to date discoveries and add (or confirm) necessary context for a find.

One of the second groups to use radiocarbon dating was that of climate scientists, who were interested in the facts about human evolution and how it was shaped by climate change.

C14 is widely used as a biomedical tracer to help trace the path/rate of absorption of various chemicals throughout the body.

Nuclear techniques can also be used to determine the origins of an item and even the production process used.

Human skeletal and other remains can be analysed in order to answer questions about the life and diet of ancient people.

For his work, Libby received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1960.

The colleague who nominated him noted: “Seldom has a single discovery in chemistry had such an impact on the thinking of so many fields of human endeavour.

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