"Everything which has come down to us from heathendom is wrapped in a thick fog; it belongs to a space of time we cannot measure.
But if they are earlier than 1485, then they can’t be Richard’s remains.
Radiocarbon dating is a commonly used technique which relies on the fact that, although 99% of carbon atoms have six protons and six neutrons (carbon-12), about 1% have an extra neutron (carbon-13) and about one atom in a trillion has two extra neutrons (carbon-14).
The SUERC results showed a 95% probability that the bone samples dated from around AD1430-1460, and over in Oxford the results both came out at around AD1412-1449, again with a 95% confidence. Radiocarbon dating of marine organisms can be out by up to several hundred years, and this effect can occur to a lesser degree in terrestrial life where sea-food forms part of the diet.
The mass spectrometry of the Greyfriars bone samples reveals that the individual in question had a high-protein diet including a significant proportion of seafood.
Ninety-nine percent of these also contain six neutrons.
The 6 proton 6 neutron atoms are said to have a mass of 12 and are referred to as "carbon-12." The nuclei of the remaining one percent of carbon atoms contain not six but either seven or eight neutrons in addition to the standard six protons.
How old are the bones found under the Greyfriars church?
Clearly they can’t be any more recent than the Dissolution of 1538.
Nyerup's words illustrate poignantly the critical power and importance of dating; to order time.