National Parks in the History of Science: Radiocarbon Dating



Radiocarbon dating – sometimes called carbon-14 dating – is the most important method for determining the ages of ancient organic materials as old as about 60,000 years. The method is so valuable for geology, paleontology, archeology and many other scientific fields that its developer was awarded a Nobel Prize in 1960. The first time radiocarbon dating was used to answer a scientific question about human history was the early 1960s at what is now Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument in Nevada.


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