Dating ancient objects
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One of the most important questions asked about any ancient object is just how old it really is.
It is generally a raised area above the rest of the city where the most important sacred and secular buildings are brought together.
There are a number of scientific techniques which can be used to date antiquities, but probably the best known and most frequently used is radiocarbon or C dating.
Radiocarbon dating can only be applied to organisms that were once alive and is a means of determining how long ago they died.
Radiocarbon dating is possible because of the existence in nature of a tiny amount of C remains in ancient organic materials, it is possible to calculate how long ago they died.
To do this requires extensive chemical processing, carried out in laboratories like that of the British Museum To convert the carbon in the ancient objects to a form in which the very low level radioactivity (way below background levels) can be measured.