Carbon dating to
How old are the bones found under the Greyfriars church?Clearly they can’t be any more recent than the Dissolution of 1538.C, we find that this ratio is the same if we sample a leaf from a tree, or a part of your body.Think of it like a teaspoon of cocoa mixed into a cake dough—after a while, the ‘ratio’ of cocoa to flour particles would be roughly the same no matter which part of the cake you sampled.The NERC Radiocarbon Facility (East Kilbride) is a central facility for the UK's Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), providing dating support in the environmental sciences.
Obviously this only works for things which once contained carbon—it can’t be used to date rocks and minerals, for example. We obviously need to know this to be able to work out at what point the ‘clock’ began to tick.This would seem reasonable for a medieval nobleman, and certainly for a member of the royal family.Allowing for this factor, and bearing in mind that the results cannot be later than 1538, a Bayesian statistic modelling technique gives the approximate date as AD1475-1530 (with a 69% confidence).We’ve seen that it would have been the same as in the atmosphere at the time the specimen died. Do scientists assume that it was the same as it is now? It is well known that the industrial revolution, with its burning of huge masses of coal, etc.has upset the natural carbon balance by releasing huge quantities of C ratio was like before the industrial revolution, and all radiocarbon dating is made with this in mind.