Is carbon dating erronious

If you Google 'archaeologist' and 'Higham', the first hit is likely to be Charles Higham, a 72-year-old professor who has charted the origins of agriculture and government in southeast Asia.

Tom was born in Cambridge, where his father was based until 1966.

Then, in the twentieth century, carbon dating found the bones to be about 22,000 years old — even though much of Britain was encased in ice and seemingly uninhabitable for part of that time.

is carbon dating erronious-57

Buckland's immediate successors did a little better.

They determined that the Red Lady was in fact a man, and that the ornaments resembled those found at much older sites in continental Europe.

Beside a slab of trilobites, in a quiet corner of Britain's Oxford University Museum of Natural History, lies a collection of ochre-tinted human bones known as the Red Lady of Paviland.

In 1823, palaeontologist William Buckland painstakingly removed the fossils from a cave in Wales, and discovered ivory rods, shell beads and other ornaments in the vicinity.

Most of the thousands of carbon dates from archaeological sites from the Middle-to-Upper Palaeolithic era are wrong, say scientists, perhaps even as many as 90%.

As a result, archaeologists can agree on the history of this era only in the broadest of brushstrokes.

That vision sometimes clashes with other scientists' views, but Higham makes no apologies for his interpretations as long as the dates are solid.

“I want to know the truth” is something he says a lot.

Collagen, the part of bone that contains the most carbon suitable for dating, sops up contaminants like a sponge, creating a false record.

If just 2% of the carbon atoms are contemporary, then a 44,000-year-old bone will return a carbon date of 33,000 years old, Higham calculates.

So, at his father's urging, Tom applied for and completed a Ph D at the University of Waikato's Radiocarbon Dating Laboratory in Hamilton, then did a postdoc there.

487 Comments

  1. Whether you are new to the city or looking for new love, her premier matchmaking service Something More will find your perfect fit.

  2. It's time for Barbie to pack her college suitcase and get home in time for this lovely holiday.

  3. 'I haven’t got "fomo" because I know what's going on in my precious. She's innocent and she needs her mother,' Binky informed her friend. And her pal Hattie hilariously demanded to know if India had been in the room while she had saucily given her man a blowjob.

Comments are closed.