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Before deciding on using carbon dating as an analytical method, an archaeologist must first make sure that the results of radiocarbon dating after calibration can provide the needed answers to the archaeological questions asked.The implication of what is represented by the carbon 14 activity of a sample must be considered.The unstable and radioactive carbon 14, called radiocarbon, is a naturally occurring isotope of the element carbon.When a living thing dies, it stops interacting with the biosphere, and the carbon 14 in it remains unaffected by the biosphere but will naturally undergo decay.Sample type, size and packing Laboratories have limitations in terms of the samples they can process for radiocarbon dating. Laboratories must also be consulted as to the required amount of sample that they ideally like to process as well as their preference with certain samples for carbon dating.
Radiocarbon dating results are reported in uncalibrated years BP (Before Present), where BP is defined as AD 1950.It is important that the radiocarbon scientists and archaeologists agree on the sampling strategy before starting the excavation so time, effort, and resources will not be wasted and meaningful result will be produced after the carbon dating process.It must be stressed that archaeologists need to interact with radiocarbon laboratories first before excavation due to several factors.1.Archaeology has undoubtedly enriched mankind’s history like no other science.
There is a greater part of man’s unwritten past that archaeology has managed to unravel.
Calibration is then done to convert BP years into calendar years.