Radiocarbon dating of the iceman

The wood in these rings once laid down remains unchanged during the life of the tree.This is very useful as a record of the radiocarbon concentration in the past.

Welcome to the K12 section of the Radiocarbon WEBinfo site.

The aim here is to provide clear, understandable information relating to radiocarbon dating for the benefit of K12 students, as well as lay people who are not requiring detailed information about the method of radiocarbon dating itself.

Rasmus Nyerup's quote reminds us of the tremendous scientific advances which have taken place in the 20th century.

In Nyerup's time, archaeologists could date the past only by using recorded histories, which in Europe were based mainly on the Egyptian calendar.

", the estimated 45-year-old man and his possessions were incredibly well preserved.

His skin, hair, bones, and organs were cryopreserved in time, allowing archeological researchers a phenomenal insight into human life in the Copper Age.

Examining closely, they found a human body which they thought might be the victim of a past mountaineering accident. Technological advances over the past twenty-five years have answered some questions surrounding Otzi's life and death and surely the next twenty-five will answer more.

The hikers reported it to Austrian police who attended the following day and quickly realized they were dealing with an ancient archeological site. This, so far, is what science knows about the Iceman.

If we have a tree that is 500 years old we can measure the radiocarbon in the 500 rings and see what radiocarbon concentration corresponds to each calendar year.

Using very old trees (such as the Bristlecone Pines in the western U. A.), it is possible to make measurements back to a few thousand years ago.

The frozen corpse also gave modern science the opportunity to forensically investigate and positively determine how Otzi the Iceman was killed.

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