The technology uses a series of mathematical calculations—the most recognizable of which is known as half-life—to estimate the age the organism stopped ingesting the isotope.
Unfortunately, the amount of Carbon-14 in the atmosphere has not been steady throughout history.
Cosmic rays and changes in Earth’s climate can cause irregularities in the amount of Carbon-14 in the atmosphere.
Archaeologists have the most accurate readings they are likely to ever receive!
As the lecture detailed, it is only accurate from about 62,000 years ago to 1,200 A. There is a sizable amount of time before and after that period that cannot be investigated using this method.
Also, archaeologists cannot use their hands to touch the samples or smoke near them.
In fact, it has fluctuated a great deal over the years.
This variation is caused by both natural processes and human activity.
Though it is not without its flaws, including several not mentioned here, it is truly an incredible creation that will be used for many years to come.