Carbon dating printing wood blocks
When an organism dies, it stops taking in new carbon-14, and whatever is inside gradually decays into other elements.Carbon-14 normally makes up about 1 trillionth (1/1,000,000,000,000) of the earth’s atmosphere.
For this reason, it’s preferable to date objects using multiple methods, rather than relying on one single test.
Likewise, different living things absorb or reject carbon-14 at different rates.
Two plants that died at the same moment, but which naturally contained different levels of radiocarbon, could be dated to drastically different times.
Most archaeological items can’t be directly carbon dated, so their dating is based on testing done on nearby objects or materials.
This makes the results subject to the researchers’ assumptions about those objects.