Radioactive carbon dating video
This supported the idea that the classical worlds of Greece and Rome were at the centre of all innovations.
Some of the first radiocarbon dates produced showed that the Scottish tombs were thousands of years older than those in Greece.
Tree rings can be counted and their radiocarbon content measured.
A huge amount of work is currently underway to extend and improve the calibration curve.
However, radioisotope dating may not work so well in the future.The ratio of carbon-12 to carbon-14 at the moment of death is the same as every other living thing, but the carbon-14 decays and is not replaced.The carbon-14 decays with its half-life of 5,700 years, while the amount of carbon-12 remains constant in the sample.Then, by using the idea that the styles of objects evolve, becoming increasing elaborate over time, they could place them in order relative to each other - a technique called seriation.
In this way large domed tombs known as tholos or beehive tombs in Greece were thought to predate similar structures in the Scottish Island of Maeshowe.
In we could only calibrate radiocarbon dates until 26, years. Dating advances Radiocarbon dates are presented in two ways because of this complication.