Radioactive isotopes archaeological dating

The radiation emitted by some radioactive substances can be used to kill microorganisms on a variety of foodstuffs, which extends the shelf life of these products.

As soon as the animal dies the intake of radioactive carbon-14 stops and the proportion in the body starts to decrease.

Contrary to the belief of some people, irradiation of food make the food itself radioactive.

Radioactive isotopes have numerous medical applications—diagnosing and treating illnesses and diseases.

Using such methods, scientists determined that the age of the Shroud of Turin (made of linen, which comes from the flax plant, and purported by some to be the burial cloth of Jesus Christ; Figure 11.3 "Shroud of Turin") is about 600–700 y, not 2,000 y as claimed by some.

Scientists were also able to use radiocarbon dating to show that the age of a mummified body found in the ice of the Alps was 5,300 y.

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