History, anthropology, and archaeology are three distinct but closely related bodies of knowledge that tell man of his present by virtue of his past.
Historians can tell what cultures thrived in different regions and when they disintegrated.
It is important that the radiocarbon scientists and archaeologists agree on the sampling strategy before starting the excavation so time, effort, and resources will not be wasted and meaningful result will be produced after the carbon dating process.
It must be stressed that archaeologists need to interact with radiocarbon laboratories first before excavation due to several factors.
There is a greater part of man’s unwritten past that archaeology has managed to unravel.Contaminants must not be introduced to the samples during collection and storing.Hydrocarbons, glue, biocides, polyethylene glycol, or polyvinylacetate must not come in contact with samples for radiocarbon dating.Decay of carbon 14 takes thousands of years, and it is this wonder of nature that forms the basis of radiocarbon dating and made this carbon 14 analysis a powerful tool in revealing the past.The process of radiocarbon dating starts with the analysis of the carbon 14 left in a sample.Other potential contaminants include paper, cardboard, cotton wool, string, and cigarette ash.Samples must be stored in packaging materials that will protect them during transport and even during prolonged storage.The unstable and radioactive carbon 14, called radiocarbon, is a naturally occurring isotope of the element carbon.When a living thing dies, it stops interacting with the biosphere, and the carbon 14 in it remains unaffected by the biosphere but will naturally undergo decay.Before deciding on using carbon dating as an analytical method, an archaeologist must first make sure that the results of radiocarbon dating after calibration can provide the needed answers to the archaeological questions asked.The implication of what is represented by the carbon 14 activity of a sample must be considered.