Thus dating that particular tree does not necessarily indicate when the fire burned or the structure was built.
For this reason, many archaeologists prefer to use samples from short-lived plants for radiocarbon dating.
Potassium-40 is a radioactive isotope of potassium that breaks down into argon-40, a gas.
Absolute dating contrasts with the relative dating techniques employed, such as stratigraphy.
Absolute dating provides a numerical age for the material tested, while relative dating can only provide a sequence of age.
Carbon-14 moves up the food chain as animals eat plants and as predators eat other animals. Then this unstable isotope starts to decay into nitrogen-14.
It takes 5,730 years for half the carbon-14 to change to nitrogen; this is the half-life of carbon-14.
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