Figure 2: (a) The radiocarbon concentration in the sample, calibration using the tree rings and depiction of possible ages of the sample in the form of a history (see text below).
(b) A histogram showing the possible ages of the E 20 manuscript.
The approximate time since the organism died can be worked out by measuring the amount of carbon-14 left in its remains compared to the amount in living organisms.This radiometric dating technique is a way of determining the age of certain archaeological artefacts of a biological origin up to about 50,000 years old.Later called Ötzi the Iceman, small samples from his body were carbon dated by scientists.The results showed that Ötzi died over 5000 years ago, sometime between 33 BC. It is found in the air in carbon dioxide molecules.In this paper we would briefly discuss the principles and practice of radiocarbon dating.
This will enable the reader to gain an appreciation of the advantages and disadvantages of this process.
Just like other mass spectrometry studies, AMS is performed by converting the atoms in the sample into a beam of fast moving ions.
The sample is first ionized by bombarding it with caesium ions and then focused into a fast-moving beam. The accelerator is used to help remove ions that might be confused with scale. Calibration of radiocarbon determinations is, in principle, very simple.
This resulted in a faster development of the "traditional" methods of Qur'anic palaeography that utilized script, ornamentation and illumination which were then compared with their dated counterparts in architecture.
The radiocarbon dating, on the other hand, even if it is carried out, is rarely mentioned.
It is perhaps one of the most widely used and best known absolute dating methods and has become an indispensable part of an archaeologist's tool-kit.