Radiocarbon Dating

  • Mary E. Malainey
Part of the Manuals in Archaeological Method, Theory and Technique book series (MATT)


A team of scientists led by Willard F. Libby developed radiocarbon dating; for this, Libby was awarded the 1960 Nobel Prize in chemistry. Today, it is the most widely used method of dating archaeological materials from the late Pleistocene and Holocene. The radiocarbon age of a sample is based on the amount of radioactive carbon remaining in it. Depending on how measurements are made, organic remnants of plants and animals that lived upward of 60,000 years ago are datable.


Isotopic Fractionation Radiocarbon Date Accelerator Mass Spectrometry Cosmic Radiation Accelerator Mass Spectrometry 
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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mary E. Malainey
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyBrandon UniversityBrandonCanada

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