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The relative dating method worked very well, but only in sites which were had a connection to the relative scale. When radiocarbon dating was developed, it revolutionised archaeology, because it enabled them to more confidently date the past, and to build a more accurate picture of the human past.The archaeologist Colin Renfrew (1973) called it the development of this dating method 'the radiocarbon revolution' in describing its great impact upon the human sciences.

A tiny part of the carbon on the Earth is called Carbon-14 (C14), or radiocarbon.Libby later received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1960 for the radiocarbon discovery.Today, there are over 130 radiocarbon dating laboratories around the world producing radiocarbon dates for the scientific community.The five charts spanned the time period 1320 through 1633 to aid investigations into whether the charts were from the specified time periods, or were created by a cottage industry known to occur many centuries later.An important aspect of the study was a series of controlled tests comparing the radiocarbon content of un-cleaned, possibly contaminated samples, with chemically cleaned equivalents.

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