carbon dating

  • Conversation

    How do we know how old the Earth is?

    Great question from a young reader.

    How old is the Earth - and, as Leo (age 5, Geelong West) asks, How do scientists work out how old the Earth is?We...

    Earth Sciences November 12, 2021
  • Age of water

    When you’re drinking a cool glass of water, have you ever wondered how old it is? Age dating wate...

    Australia is an ancient country, geologically speaking, and its groundwater aquifers reflect this: water in the Murra...

    Earth July 23, 2021
  • Explainer

    What is radiometric dating?

    Dive headfirst into the weird world of dating by radioactive decay.

    You’ll hear it often in stories about palaeontology and archaeology: “the wood was dated using radiocarbon dating”, “...

    Earth April 14, 2021
  • How to uncover an ancient object's age

    Dating samples from thousands to billions of years ago.

    When a piece of bone, spearhead or rock is dug from the ground, a long process begins to work out where it came from ...

    Archaeology November 9, 2016
  • Slaughtered elephants fuel illegal ivory trade

    Seized ivory was harvested by poachers in the past few years.

    Most ivory confiscated in Africa since 2002 came from elephants that had died within three years, with very little "o...

    Chemistry November 8, 2016
  • How archaeologists date artefacts

    Techniques used to uncover the past.

    Scratching around in a cave in the middle of nowhere, you find a bone. How do you find out if it’s the remains of an ...

    Archaeology November 2, 2016
  • How to date a Russian cave lion

    The oldest bone sample to be reliably carbon dated is 61,000 years old. Viviane Richter reports.

    A reproduction of the now extinct Russian cave lion, Panthera leo spelaea. – Markus Matzel / ullstein bild via Getty ...

    Technology August 17, 2015
  • Dating the ancient past in tiny bites

    Carbon dating has revealed ancestors were adept dentists.

    A dusty old piece of ancient human jawbone, stored for more than a century in a museum in Trieste, Italy, has given a...

    Archaeology January 12, 2015
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