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In 1949 a scientist called Willard Libby discovered a way of working out how old objects are by measuring what is known as their ‘radiocarbon date’.

All objects that have the [infopopup:element] called carbon in them (like plants, animals, clothing, and even humans like you and me!

Natural contamination pertains to the introduction of contaminants to the sample by its surrounding material.

For example, bone samples can be contaminated by the presence of limestone or organic acids in the soil (like humic or fulvic acids) where the bones were found.

Materials such as charcoal, wood, peat, and textiles typically undergo the acid-alkali-acid (AAA) method before radiocarbon dating.

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Learn More The occurrence of contamination can be natural or artificial.) can have their carbon date measured to work out how old they are.The important element is called The carbon-14 level of the object is then measured by scientists.These methods — some of which are still used today — provide only an approximate spot within a previously established sequence: Think of it as ordering rather than dating.Biostratigraphy: One of the first and most basic scientific dating methods is also one of the easiest to understand.Sterkfontein has also yielded stone artefacts that are up to almost 2-million years old, and are the oldest dated stone tools in Southern Africa.

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