Carbon dating accurate many years
In contrast, science textbooks can hardly be found that do not refer to human or “pre-human” remains 10,000 to millions of years old. C” or “C-14” appear within a quote, they are shown as they were published.) Contrary to popular perception, carbon dating is not a precise answer-all to chronology questions. The narrator indicated that they have samples dated “because they want to know exactly how old the skeleton is.” A famous American colleague, Professor Brew, briefly summarized a common attitude among archaeologists. And if it is completely ‘out of date,’ we just drop it.” Few archaeologists who have concerned themselves with absolute chronology are innocent of having sometimes applied this method.” Although the symposium was held in 1970, the point is still relevant.
Radioactive decay causes once-living specimens to lose half of their C14 atoms in about each 5,730-year half-life.
Thus, if the level today is half of what it was estimated to be when the thing died, it is said to be 5,730 years old.
Rasmus Nyerup's quote reminds us of the tremendous scientific advances which have taken place in the 20th century.
In Nyerup's time, archaeologists could date the past only by using recorded histories, which in Europe were based mainly on the Egyptian calendar.
They used pottery and other materials in sites to date 'relatively'.