The radiocarbon dating technique can be used to date
The first dated materials included wood from Egyptian tombs, linen wrapping from one of the Dead Sea Scrolls, and heartwood from a California sequoia.
Ocean corals and speleothems (cave deposits such as stalactites) dated by another radiometric method—Uranium-Thorium dating—have also helped to extend the calibration curve beyond the age of the most ancient tree-ring chronologies.
Radiocarbon dating is the most common technique used in ascertaining the age of archaeological and paleontological sites during the last 45,000 years.
Developed by a chemist born in Colorado, there are now commercial and academic laboratories across the globe that conduct radiocarbon dating.
Radiocarbon dating has made a substantive contribution to our understanding of Colorado prehistory by allowing archaeologists to place excavated sites in chronological order and allowing comparison of contemporary archaeological cultures.
While Willard Libby received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1960 for his contributions to the development of the radiocarbon dating method, the process that led to the discovery of this method began much earlier.