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Radiocarbon or C14 dating employs complex systems of measuring the unstable isotopes in once living matter.There are three forms of carbon that naturally occur forming the building blocks of all plant and animal life.However its application has caused extreme confusion and misunderstanding of the archaeological record.

Fourthly, for C14 to test accurately the artefact must have been protected from contamination.The radiocarbon method measures the rate of decay in the C14 of organic matter therefore estimating how long ago death occurred.Archaeologists can use this method to date bone, teeth, plants, seeds, burned food remains, coprolites, wood, and any artefact that contains organic materials such as an iron axe head (iron cannot be tested using C14) with a wooden handle or a bronze spear with a wooden shaft.Some examples of abnormal C14 results include testing of recently harvested, live mollusc shells from the Hawaiian coast that showed that they had died 2000 years ago and snail shells just killed in Nevada, USA, dated in at 27,000 years old.A freshly killed seal at Mc Murdo Sound, Antarctica, yielded a death age of 1300 years ago.

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