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FEATURE ARTICLE

Fifty Years of Radiocarbon Dating

This widely applied technique has made major strides since its introduction a half-century ago at the University of Chicago

R. E. Taylor

Since its introduction a half-century ago at the University of Chicago, radiocarbon dating has proven invaluable to investigators working in many different disciplines. R. E. Taylor, an archaeologist, describes the origins of this technique and the progress that has ensued, including advances that have made it possible to calibrate radiocarbon ages precisely and to date a sample that contains only milligrams of carbon. Because many tens of thousands of radiocarbon measurements have been conducted over the years, a comprehensive summary of results is impossible. But a few of the key archaeological findings from radiocarbon dating are noted.


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