Relative dating methods in anthropology
There are three principal techniques used to measure carbon 14 content of any given sample— gas proportional counting, liquid scintillation counting, and accelerator mass spectrometry.
Gas proportional counting is a conventional radiometric dating technique that counts the beta particles emitted by a given sample. In this method, the carbon sample is first converted to carbon dioxide gas before measurement in gas proportional counters takes place.
Archaeology and other human sciences use radiocarbon dating to prove or disprove theories.When they die, they stop exchanging carbon with the biosphere and their carbon 14 content then starts to decrease at a rate determined by the law of radioactive decay.Radiocarbon dating is essentially a method designed to measure residual radioactivity.Background radiocarbon activity is measured, and the values obtained are deducted from the sample’s radiocarbon dating results.Background samples analyzed are usually geological in origin of infinite age such as coal, lignite, and limestone.