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Article about dating

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Subsequently, the calibration of that date provides a time interval where the event or object being dated can be situated (eg, 1275-1425 AD).Radiocarbon dating, however, can only be used for dating objects that are less than 50 000 years.

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For example, the oldest human remains known to date in Canada, found at Gore Creek, have been dated using soil stratification.Dendrochronology Dendrochronology is a method that studies the rings of tree trunks to define characteristic sequences by analyzing the morphology of growth rings for a given species.This method is based on the principle that the variation in tree growth from one year to another is influenced by the degree of precipitation, sunshine, temperature, soil type and all ambient conditions and that, consequently, reference patterns can be distinguished.Indeed, carbon 14 (14C) is formed from the reaction caused by cosmic rays that convert nitrogen into carbon 14 and then carbon dioxide by combining with carbon 12 (12C) and carbon 13 (13C ), which are stable carbon isotopes.Following the death of an organism, any exchange ceases and the carbon 14, which is radioactive and therefore unstable, slowly begins to disintegrate at a known rate (half-life of 5730 years, ie, after this period only half of the total carbon 14 present at the time of death remains).The amount of carbon 14 remaining in the material to date is compared to a reference standard (ratio 14C/total carbon, 12C and 13C) to calculate the time elapsed since its occurrence.

A sample requires 10 to 20 grams of matter and usually consists of charred organic material, mainly charcoal, but bones (zooarchaeology) and shells can also be dated using this technique.

However, this method is sometimes limited because the reoccupation of an area may require excavation to establish the foundation of a building, for instance, that goes through older layers.

In this case, even if the foundation of the building is found in the same stratigraphic level as the previous occupation, the two events are not contemporary.

Finally, absolute dating is obtained by synchronizing the average sequences with series of live (and thus datable) trees and thus anchors the tree-ring chronology in time.

Dendrochronology mainly uses softwood species that are sensitive to changes in growth conditions, while hardwoods show rather little variation in ring width.

An initial reading dates the specimen which is then calibrated by considering this date and its correspondence with the measurable level of carbon 14 stored over time in the growth rings of certain tree species, including redwood and pine bristol.