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So even brand-new samples contain incredibly tiny quantities of radiocarbon.
Eventually, the amount of carbon-14 remaining is so small that it’s all but undetectable.
Most archaeological items can’t be directly carbon dated, so their dating is based on testing done on nearby objects or materials.
This makes the results subject to the researchers’ assumptions about those objects.
" Answer: Carbon dating, or radiocarbon dating, like any other laboratory testing technique, can be extremely reliable, so long as all of the variables involved are controlled and understood.
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Contamination and repeatability are also factors that have to be considered with carbon dating.
A tiny amount of carbon contamination will greatly skew test results, so sample preparation is critical.