Carbon dating used today
The Greeks consider the first Olympic Games as the beginning or 776 BC.
The Muslims count the Prophet’s departure from Mecca, or the Hegira, as their beginning at AD 662.
Plankton absorbs, Carbon-14 from the ocean much like terrestrial plants absorb Carbon-14 from the air.
More recently is the radiocarbon date of 1950 AD or before present, BP.
As long as there is organic material present, radiocarbon dating is a universal dating technique that can be applied anywhere in the world.
It is good for dating for the last 50,000 years to about 400 years ago and can create chronologies for areas that previously lacked calendars.
After an organism dies, the radiocarbon decreases through a regular pattern of decay. The time taken for half of the atoms of a radioactive isotope to decay in Carbon-14’s case is about 5730 years.
Half-lives vary according to the isotope, for example, Uranium-238 has a half-life of 4500 million years where as Nitrogen-17 has a half-life of 4.173 seconds!Therefore, radiocarbon dates need to be calibrated with other dating techniques to ensure accuracy.