Carbon dating the iceman

Accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) is a modern radiocarbon dating method that is considered to be the more efficient way to measure radiocarbon content of a sample.

In this method, the carbon 14 content is directly measured relative to the carbon 12 and carbon 13 present.

This gave researchers limited ability to examine the cadaver as would be done in a conventional autopsy.

A thorough external exam was done in 1991 along with Xray radiography images.

Examining closely, they found a human body which they thought might be the victim of a past mountaineering accident. Technological advances over the past twenty-five years have answered some questions surrounding Otzi's life and death and surely the next twenty-five will answer more.Liquid scintillation counting is another radiocarbon dating technique that was popular in the 1960s.In this method, the sample is in liquid form and a scintillator is added.Some inorganic matter, like a shell’s aragonite component, can also be dated as long as the mineral’s formation involved assimilation of carbon 14 in equilibrium with the atmosphere.Over the years, carbon 14 dating has also found applications in geology, hydrology, geophysics, atmospheric science, oceanography, paleoclimatology and even biomedicine.

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