Real radio dating
To determine year of birth, the researchers focused on tooth enamel.
Adult teeth are formed at known intervals during childhood.
The researchers found that year-of-death determinations based on nails were accurate to within three years.
The generally poor post-mortem preservation of soft tissues would be a limiting factor to this approach.
In contrast, from 1955 to 1963, atmospheric radiocarbon levels almost doubled.
Since then they have been dropping back toward natural levels.
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Atmospheric dispersion tends to create uniform levels of carbon-14 around the globe, and researchers believe that these would be reflected in human tissues regardless of location.
Archaeologists have long used carbon-14 dating (also known as radiocarbon dating) to estimate the age of certain objects.