Chemistry of carbon dating Naughty kinky chat lines
In the 19th and early 20th century incredibly patient and careful archaeologists would link pottery and stone tools in different geographical areas by similarities in shape and patterning.
Then, by using the idea that the styles of objects evolve, becoming increasing elaborate over time, they could place them in order relative to each other - a technique called seriation.
This means that although they are very similar chemically, they have different masses.
Rachel Wood does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.
Radiocarbon dating has transformed our understanding of the past 50,000 years.
In addition, samples need to be thoroughly cleaned to remove carbon contamination from glues and soil before dating.
This is particularly important for very old samples.