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Trees maintain carbon 14 equilibrium in their growth rings—and trees produce a ring for every year they are alive.

Although we don't have any 50,000-year-old trees, we do have overlapping tree ring sets back to 12,594 years.

In 1960, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for this work.

Cave deposits and varves have the potential to include old soil carbon, and there are as-yet unresolved issues with fluctuating amounts of C14 in ocean corals.It was the first absolute scientific method ever invented: that is to say, the technique was the first to allow a researcher to determine how long ago an organic object died, whether it is in context or not.Shy of a date stamp on an object, it is still the best and most accurate of dating techniques devised.Radiocarbon dating is one of the best known archaeological dating techniques available to scientists, and the many people in the general public have at least heard of it.But there are many misconceptions about how radiocarbon works and how reliable a technique it is.

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