Carbon dating stonehenge

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Most carbon consists of the isotopes carbon 12 and carbon 13, which are very stable.

A very small percentage of carbon, however, consists of the isotope carbon 14, or , which is unstable.

In 1666 the antiquarian John Aubrey could still see the central sunken hollow where the Duke of Buckingham’s pit had been filled. Further excavations at Stonehenge were carried out by William Cunnington and Richard Colt Hoare.

In 1798, Cunnington investigated the pit beneath a recently fallen trilithon, and in 1810 both men dug beneath the fallen Slaughter Stone and concluded that it had once stood up.

Antrobus appointed a mining engineer named William Gowland to manage the work.

Despite having no archaeological training, Gowland produced some of the finest, most detailed excavation records ever made at the monument.

Britain's Bournemouth University archaeologists, led by Geoffrey Wainwright, president of the London Society of Antiquaries, and Timothy Darvill, on September 22, 2008, found it may have been an ancient healing and pilgrimage site, since burials around Stonehenge showed trauma and deformity evidence: "It was the magical qualities of these stones which ...

transformed the monument and made it a place of pilgrimage for the sick and injured of the Neolithic world." Radio-carbon dating places the construction of the circle of bluestones at between 2,400 B.

Archaeology and other human sciences use radiocarbon dating to prove or disprove theories.Over the years, carbon 14 dating has also found applications in geology, hydrology, geophysics, atmospheric science, oceanography, paleoclimatology and even biomedicine.Radiocarbon, or carbon 14, is an isotope of the element carbon that is unstable and weakly radioactive. Carbon 14 is continually being formed in the upper atmosphere by the effect of cosmic ray neutrons on nitrogen 14 atoms.They may have also excavated one of the Aubrey Holes beneath it.In 1839, a Captain Beamish dug around the Altar Stone, and not long after that Charles Darwin was granted permission by the Antrobus family who owned Stonehenge to conduct a small excavation to test his theories about earthworm activity burying ancient structures.

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