Radiocarbon dating, also known as C14 dating, is a method for radiometric dating of carbon-containing, especially organic materials. The chronological range of the method is between 300 and about 60,000 years. Radiocarbon dating was developed in 1946 by Willard Frank Libby, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for this achievement in 1960. Radiocarbon dating is used in archaeological age determination, archaeobotany and Quaternary research.
The method is based on the decay of radioactive 14C atoms in dead organisms according. Living organisms are not affected by this, as they constantly absorb new carbon from the environment, which reintroduces the normal proportion of 14C atoms. This normal proportion is almost constant because 14C is constantly being formed in the upper atmosphere.