The barrel represents the earth's atmosphere in which the carbon-14 accumulates.
The water leaking out the sides of the barrel represents the loss (mainly by radioactive decay) of the atmosphere's supply of carbon-14.
Archaeologists believe Egypt’s large pyramids are the work of the Old Kingdom society that rose to prominence in the Nile Valley after 3000 B. Historical analysis tells us that the Egyptians built the Giza Pyramids in a span of 85 years between 25 BC.
Interest in Egyptian chronology is widespread in both popular and scholarly circles.
Carbon-14 dating is a way of determining the age of certain archeological artifacts of a biological origin up to about 50,000 years old.
While alive, all plants and animals take C14 into their bodies.
The numbers of C14 atoms and non-radioactive carbon atoms remain approximately the same over time during the organism’s life.
The authenticity of the Shroud of Turin has been in question for centuries and scientific investigations over the last few decades have only seemed to muddle the debate.
The earliest experiments in radiocarbon dating were done on ancient material from Egypt. Libby’s team obtained acacia wood from the 3rd Dynasty Step Pyramid of Djoser to test a hypothesis they had developed.
Libby reasoned that since the half-life of C years, the Djoser sample’s C14 concentration should be about 50% of the concentration found in living wood (for further details, see Arnold and Libby, 1949). Subsequent work with radiocarbon testing raised questions about the fluctuation of atmospheric C14 over time.