Carbon dating stone tools

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Once the organism dies, it stops replenishing its carbon supply, and the total carbon-14 content in the organism slowly disappears.

Scientists can determine how long ago an organism died by measuring how much carbon-14 is left relative to the carbon-12.

The discovery is detailed in a new study, published online March 24 in .Carbon-14 has a half life of 5730 years, meaning that 5730 years after an organism dies, half of its carbon-14 atoms have decayed to nitrogen atoms.Similarly, 11460 years after an organism dies, only one quarter of its original carbon-14 atoms are still around.These have offered up many fewer artifacts, and the dating of some pieces has drawn scrutiny over the years.The striking discovery of 14,100- to 14,600-year-old stone tools at a site in Monte Verde, Chile, raised questions about just how quickly the new settlers could have arrived so far south so quickly.

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