The Greeks consider the first Olympic Games as the beginning or 776 BC.

The Muslims count the Prophet’s departure from Mecca, or the Hegira, as their beginning at AD 662.

The Mayan calendar used 3114 BC as their reference.

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This process of decay occurs at a regular rate and can be measured.

By comparing the amount of carbon 14 remaining in a sample with a modern standard, we can determine when the organism died, as for example, when a shellfish was collected or a tree cut down.

Absolute dating represents the absolute age of the sample before the present.

Historical documents and calendars can be used to find such absolute dates; however, when working in a site without such documents, it is hard for absolute dates to be determined.

There are two techniques for dating in archaeological sites: relative and absolute dating.

Relative dating stems from the idea that something is younger or older relative to something else.

However, there are a number of other factors that can affect the amount of carbon present in a sample and how that information is interpreted by archaeologists.

Thus a great deal of care is taken in securing and processing samples and multiple samples are often required if we want to be confident about assigning a date to a site, feature, or artifact (read more about the radiocarbon dating technique at:

Shell may succumb to isotopic exchange if it interacts with carbon from percolating ground acids or recrystallization when shell aragonite transforms to calcite and involves the exchange of modern calcite.