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Radiocarbon Dating

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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 25, 1995 | From Associated Press
The Shroud of Turin, purportedly Christ's burial garment, has inspired the faithful for centuries. But seven years ago, radiocarbon dating put it at 700 years old, and it seemed that faith must yield to science and admit it might be a forgery. But a Russian biochemist now says the radiocarbon findings are wrong--that the process was marred by a failure to consider smoke damage to the garment--and the shroud is at least 1,800 years old.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 25, 1995 | From Associated Press
The Shroud of Turin, purportedly Christ's burial garment, has inspired the faithful for centuries. But seven years ago, radiocarbon dating put it at 700 years old, and it seemed that faith must yield to science and admit it might be a forgery. But a Russian biochemist now says the radiocarbon findings are wrong--that the process was marred by a failure to consider smoke damage to the garment--and the shroud is at least 1,800 years old.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 4, 1990 | From Times staff and wire reports
The widely used carbon-14 method of determining the age of fossils, rocks and ancient human artifacts may be off by as much as 3,500 years, scientists said last week. Geologists from Columbia University in New York said the carbon-14 dating method appears to have significantly underestimated the age of many prehistoric objects.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 4, 1990 | From Times staff and wire reports
The widely used carbon-14 method of determining the age of fossils, rocks and ancient human artifacts may be off by as much as 3,500 years, scientists said last week. Geologists from Columbia University in New York said the carbon-14 dating method appears to have significantly underestimated the age of many prehistoric objects.
WORLD
May 4, 2008 | Thea Chard, Times Staff Writer
The mysterious circle of stones that rises on Salisbury Plain near here has stood as an archaeological marvel for thousands of years, its origins and purpose shrouded in the mists of history. But a just-completed excavation of Stonehenge, the first within the ancient circle in more than 40 years, could provide some of the first reliable explanations for one of the greatest wonders of the prehistoric world. A team of British archaeologists hopes to prove its theory that nearly 4,000 years ago Stonehenge was regarded not as a place of sacrament for the dead, but as a temple with healing powers.
NATIONAL
August 17, 2008 | DeeDee Correll, Times Staff Writer
The tie that binds John and Rebecca Jackson is about 4 feet by 14 feet, woven of herringbone twill linen. It once led to their romance; years later, it still dominates their thoughts and fills their conversations. It brought Rebecca, an Orthodox Jew, to the Catholic Church; it led John to suspend himself from an 8-foot-tall cross to study how blood might have stained the cloth. Together, the two have committed to memory every crease, scorch mark and unexplained stain in their years-long pursuit of the mystery: Is the Shroud of Turin -- which allegedly bears the image of a crucifixion victim -- the burial cloth of Jesus?
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 3, 1998
In your otherwise excellent Nov. 28 editorial, "Science Through a Prism," it was suggested that the radiocarbon dating method can be applied to dinosaurs. Regretfully, this highly effective technique can only be used to date organic (carbon-containing) materials on a routine basis over only the last 40,000-50,000 years. My paleontological colleagues tell me that the last of the dinosaurs apparently disappeared rather quickly following the impact on Earth of an asteroid about 70 million years ago. Other isotopic dating methods--not radiocarbon--are used to assign ages to rocks of the time period of the dinosaurs.
SCIENCE
June 6, 2009 | Thomas H. Maugh II
Chinese and Israeli archaeologists have discovered the oldest known pottery, remains of an 18,000-year-old cone-shaped vase excavated from a cave in southern China. The shards are about 1,000 years older than the previous record-holder, found in Japan. After flint tools, pottery is one of the oldest human-made materials, and tracing its development provides insight into the evolution of culture.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 8, 1999
Subtle changes in the Earth's orbit may have been responsible for the abrupt transformation of a large region of North Africa from a lush garden into the Sahara Desert. Radiocarbon dating shows that the changes occurred in two phases, one beginning 6,700 years ago and a sharper change beginning 4,000 years ago. During those periods, temperatures rose and precipitation dropped sharply, German researchers report in the July 15 Geophysical Research Letters.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 2, 1999 | Times medical writer Thomas H. Maugh II
A recently discovered circle of 55 oak timbers surrounding a large inverted oak tree has been precisely dated, British researchers report in today's Nature. The circle, called Seahenge, was discovered in August 1998 in the intertidal zone at Holme-Next-the-Sea in Norfolk.
SCIENCE
June 15, 2012 | By Thomas H. Maugh II
A small collection of human bones found under a Bulgarian church are the right age and ethnicity to support the claim that they belonged to John the Baptist, researchers said Friday. Radiocarbon dating indicates the bones came from the 1st century and mitochondrial DNA indicates they belonged to a person of Middle Eastern origin, the research team said. "Whether that person is John the Baptist is a question that we cannot yet definitely answer and probably never will," said archaeologist Thomas Higham of Oxford University, who conducted the radiocarbon dating.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 23, 1999
Archeologists in China have found what is believed to be the world's oldest musical instrument that still works--a 9,000-year-old flute carved from the wing bone of a crane. When scientists from the United States and China blew gently through the mottled brown instrument's mouthpiece and fingered its holes, they produced tones that were familiar to the modern ear, they report in today's Nature.
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