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And samples must be collected carefully, as often they have been in stable environments prior to their unearthing by industrious archaeologists and may be easily degraded in the open air or attacked by moisture and sunlight once gathered.
Old school radiocarbon dates used to be collected using Geiger counters to establish the amount of radiation they were emitting.
And also, rather importantly, the laws of radioactive decay hypothesize that once a living organism is dead, it no longer interacts with anything in its environment which would affect the speed of its radioactive decay.
With all the technical terms and mathematical physics equations taken out, carbon dating sounds pretty easy right?
Carbon dating assumes a variety of things about the natural world in order to work.
Dates could be assigned based upon scientific evidence rather than on the inconsistent mathematics, historical comparisons and simulated typologies of artifacts that had previously regulated time.
The most well known and oft used form of radiometric dating is radiocarbon dating. It has helped define the ages of man in ways never thought possible and led the way for a vanguard of scientific techniques that have further defined time for humanity and beyond.
But what does it actually do and how much can it tell us?
This calendar, with the months January through December, is a business standard used in many places round the world to define the year: one which hearkens back to Christian and Roman Imperial precedents.
But other timekeeping methods exist and are still used in the modern world, circumventing the easy processing of dates and history between cultures.
Wrong: it involves a complex process of collecting a useful sample, dating it properly, and calibrating the scientific dates to ones recognizable in the outside world.