Question: Which artifacts can be carbon dated?

The most suitable types of sample for radiocarbon dating are charcoal and well-preserved wood, although leather, cloth, paper, peat, shell and bone can also be used.

Can all fossils be carbon dated?

While people are most familiar with carbon dating, carbon dating is rarely applicable to fossils. Carbon-14, the radioactive isotope of carbon used in carbon dating has a half-life of 5730 years, so it decays too fast. It can only be used to date fossils younger than about 75,000 years.

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