Malaga cove archaeological site carbon dating
The researchers wanted to find out if they could identify a person's year of birth or year of death using precise measurements of carbon-14 levels in different post-mortem tissues.
They measured carbon-14 levels in various tissues from 36 humans whose birth and death dates were known.
The researchers found that year-of-death determinations based on nails were accurate to within three years.
To determine year of death, the researchers used radiocarbon levels in soft tissues.Over the past six decades, the amount of radiocarbon in people or their remains depends heavily on when they were born or, more precisely, when their tissues were formed.Forensic anthropologists at The University of Arizona took advantage of this fact in a recent study funded by NIJ.Archeologists use several methods to establish absolute chronology including radiocarbon dating, obsidian hydration, thermoluminescence, dendrochronology, historical records, mean ceramic dating, and pipe stem dating.Each of these methods is explained in this section.