Carbon dating doubts

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The implication was clear: The shroud was a medieval forgery.

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By measuring the ratio of the radio isotope to non-radioactive carbon, the amount of carbon-14 decay can be worked out, thereby giving an age for the specimen in question.

For many years the raw data used in these tests was never released by the institutions involved, despite multiple requests for them to do so.

Finally, in response to the 2017 FOI, all raw data kept by the British Museum was made accessible to researchers for the first time.

The more accurate carbon clock should yield better dates for any overlap of humans and Neanderthals, as well as for determining how climate changes influenced the extinction of Neanderthals.

“If you have a better estimate of when the last Neanderthals lived to compare to climate records in Greenland or elsewhere, then you’ll have a better idea of whether the extinction was climate driven or competition with modern humans,” says Paula Reimer, a geochronologist at Queen’s University in Belfast, UK.

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