Limitations of using carbon dating
The age of the rock can be calculated if the ratio of uranium to lead is known.
As the rock gets older the proportion of lead increases.
Plants absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and animals eat plants.
This means all living things have radioactive carbon-14 in them.
When an animal or plant dies it stops taking in carbon. If we compare the carbon-14 with that from a living thing, and knowing the half-life of carbon-14, the age of animal and plant remains can be calculated. Twelve out of every 1000 potassium atoms is the radioistope potassium-40.
This expository paper gives a survey of statistical problems arising in two important and widely used scientific methods of dating archaeological deposits, namely tree-ring-calibrated radiocarbon dates and seriation.Radiocarbon dating has significantly changed humans’ approach to history during the last 50 years.