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The moa bone analysis gave a radiocarbon date of 580 plus or minus 40 years.

Using the terrestrial calibration curve, a calendar age of AD 1390–1435 was established for the moa bone sample.

Filtration during this phase allows contaminants to be successfully removed. After this process, the resulting material has a spongy texture with an off-white colour. The pre-treated sample is loaded onto a quartz silica boat, which is loaded into a combustion tube.

It is a long tube which is hooked up to a vacuum line.

Learn more about Tom’s work on refining radiocarbon dating and how science is advancing our understanding of human evolution through the Palaeolithic period.

Carbon dating is used to determine the age of biological artifacts up to 50,000 years old.

The scintillator chemical butyl-PBD picks up each decay event and emits a tiny flash of light that the spectrometer is programmed to detect and count.

In addition to the moa sample, control samples are also measured at the same time.

A scintillator chemical (butyl-PBD) is added to the liquid benzene.

This technique is widely used on recent artifacts, but educators and students alike should note that this technique will not work on older fossils (like those of the dinosaurs alleged to be millions of years old).

This technique is not restricted to bones; it can also be used on cloth, wood and plant fibers.

Carbon-14 dating has been used successfully on the Dead Sea Scrolls, Minoan ruins and tombs of the pharaohs among other things. The half-life of carbon-14 is approximately 5,730 years. dinosaurs the evolution alleges lived millions of years ago.

Levels of carbon-14 become difficult to measure and compare after about 50,000 years (between 8 and 9 half lives; where 1% of the original carbon-14 would remain undecayed).

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Professor Tom Higham is director of the Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit at Oxford University and Principal Investigator for the Palaeo Chron Project.

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