An Indian text commonly referred to as The Bakhshali Manuscript is documented as the oldest record of the concept of zero and it was believed to be originally from the 9th century. Radiocarbon dating is a technique used by archaeologists to determine the approximate age of an artifact and or ecofact. It is the most common and reliable absolute dating technique. Researchers were able to use radiocarbon dating on The Bakhshali Manuscript because it was made out of birch bark, an organic material. However, it was difficult to determine the true age of The Bakhshali Manuscript because the 70 page document is composed of materials from three different time periods. When the University of Oxford tested the document with their Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit they used three different samples and each sample came from a different century.
Radiocarbon dating is one of the best known archaeological dating techniques available to scientists, and the many people in the general public have at least heard of it. But there are many misconceptions about how radiocarbon works and how reliable a technique it is. Radiocarbon dating was invented in the s by the American chemist Willard F. Libby and a few of his students at the University of Chicago: in , he won a Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the invention. It was the first absolute scientific method ever invented: that is to say, the technique was the first to allow a researcher to determine how long ago an organic object died, whether it is in context or not. Shy of a date stamp on an object, it is still the best and most accurate of dating techniques devised.
Radiocarbon Dating: A Closer Look At Its Main Flaws
The field of radiocarbon dating has become a technical one far removed from the naive simplicity which characterized its initial introduction by Libby in the late 's. It is, therefore, not surprising that many misconceptions about what radiocarbon can or cannot do and what it has or has not shown are prevalent among creationists and evolutionists - lay people as well as scientists not directly involved in this field. In the following article, some of the most common misunderstandings regarding radiocarbon dating are addressed, and corrective, up-to-date scientific creationist thought is provided where appropriate.
A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America. Since the s , biogeochemist Richard Evershed of the University of Bristol has been trying to find a way to accurately radiocarbon date ceramic artifacts. But it has taken nearly three decades for technology to catch up with his vision. Archaeologists have been using pottery styles to date artifacts and sites for decades, but these dates had to be confirmed using methods such as radiocarbon dating of associated materials or dendrochronology, the analysis of tree rings. His team is able to isolate compounds from samples of pottery that weigh as little as two grams and to detect the minuscule amount of fatty-acid carbon remaining in the residues left by milk, cheese, or meat.