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Carbon dating is a brilliant way for archaeologists to take advantage of the natural ways that atoms decay.

Unfortunately, humans are on the verge of messing things up.

Researchers could then disregard the date and try other methods of dating the object. In the 19th and early 20th century incredibly patient and careful archaeologists would link pottery and stone tools in different geographical areas by similarities in shape and patterning.

The slow, steady process of Carbon creation in the upper atmosphere has been dwarfed in the past centuries by humans spewing carbon from fossil fuels into the air.

Since fossil fuels are millions of years old, they no longer contain any measurable amount of Carbon Thus, as millions of tons of Carbon are pushed into the atmosphere, the steady ratio of these two isotopes is being disrupted. This is particularly important for very old samples.

Establishing dates Moving away from techniques, the most exciting thing about radiocarbon is what it reveals about our past and the world we live in.

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