Thermoluminescence dating laboratory
The relatively short half-life of carbon-14, 5,730 years, makes dating reliable only up to about 50,000 years.
The technique often cannot pinpoint the date of an archeological site better than historic records, but is highly effective for precise dates when calibrated with other dating techniques such as tree-ring dating.
In historical geology, the primary methods of absolute dating involve using the radioactive decay of elements trapped in rocks or minerals, including isotope systems from very young (radiocarbon dating with Radiometric dating is based on the known and constant rate of decay of radioactive isotopes into their radiogenic daughter isotopes.
Particular isotopes are suitable for different applications due to the types of atoms present in the mineral or other material and its approximate age.
This technique is based on the principle that all objects absorb radiation from the environment.
By measuring the carbon-14 in organic material, scientists can determine the date of death of the organic matter in an artifact or ecofact.
Techniques include tree rings in timbers, radiocarbon dating of wood or bones, and trapped-charge dating methods such as thermoluminescence dating of glazed ceramics.