How exact is carbon dating
NEW DELHI: The exact age of Dwarka, the ancient submerged city off Gujarat coast, can now finally be determined.In a major breakthrough, archaeologists have excavated from the ruins of Dwarka a wooden block that promises to solve the mystery about the exact age of the submerged city believedby many to belong to Lord Krishna.And finally, we must assume that there hasn't been any contamination in the specimen which we are attempting to date.Scientific research has called the first two assumptions into question.It is possible to tell the number of years ago a particular rock or archeological site had been formed.Two broad categories of classification methods are relative dating and absolute dating.The closest scientists can come to an "exact" date for a fossil is Carbon 14 dating.However since Carbon 14 has a half life of about 5,600 years Carbon 14 dating can only be used to date very recent fossils.
Measurements have shown that in recent history, radiocarbon levels have remained relatively constant in most of the biosphere due to the metabolic processes in living organisms and the relatively rapid turnover of carbonates in surface ocean waters.I'm confident that we can improve the accuracy of carbon dating somewhat, but only if we acknowledge and carefully study the various factors which may play a role in how reliable our foundational assumptions are.In order for carbon dating to by accurate certain foundational assumptions must first be true."Now that we have found wood, we are confident of dating the excavations.
We will know exactly how old is this submerged city," Alok Tripathi, Superindenting Archaeologist of the Underwater Archaeology Wing of the Archaeological Survey of India.
The earlier excavations, that first began about 40 years ago, had only revealed stones, beads, glass and terracotta pieces.