Carbon dating explained gcse dating persian jewish man

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The results showed that Ötzi died over 5000 years ago, sometime between 33 BC. Uranium has a very long half-life and so by measuring how much uranium is left in a rock its approximate age can be worked out.

Materials that originally came from living things, such as wood and natural fibres, can be dated by measuring the amount of carbon-14 they contain.

The carbon-14 it contained at the time of death decays over a long period of time, and the radioactivity of the material decreases.

The approximate time since the organism died can be worked out by measuring the amount of carbon-14 left in its remains compared to the amount in living organisms.

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When they die no new carbon-14 is taken in by the dead organism.

Half of the remaining Carbon-14 then decays over the next 5730 years leaving one fourth of the original amount.

By measuring the ratio of Carbon-14 in a sample and comparing it to the amount in a recently deceased sample its date can be determined.

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