Carbon dating only
I have tried here to answer some of the frequently asked questions that I receive from students via email, as well as providing some basic information about scientific dating methods.
"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.
Eventually, a particle is emitted from the carbon 14 atom, and carbon 14 disappears.
Most of the carbon on Earth exists in a slightly different atomic form, although it is chemically speaking, identical to all carbon.
The half-life refers to the amount of time it takes for half the radiocarbon in a sample of bone or shell or any carbon sample to disappear.
Libby found that it took 5568 years for half the radiocarbon to decay.
After another 5568 years, again another half will have disappeared.
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 radiocarbon method was developed by a team of scientists led by the late Professor Willard F.
Libby of the University of Chicago after the end of World War 2.