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During the period of a plant's life, the plant is taking in carbon dioxide through photosynthesis, which is how the plant makes energy and grows.
Animals eat plants, and some eat other animals in the food chain.
Because carbon is very common on Earth, there are alot of different types of material which can be dated by scientists.
Below is a list of the different kinds of materials which can be dated: Libby tested the new radiocarbon method on carbon samples from prehistoric Egypt whose age was known.
The relative dating method worked very well, but only in sites which were had a connection to the relative scale. When radiocarbon dating was developed, it revolutionised archaeology, because it enabled them to more confidently date the past, and to build a more accurate picture of the human past.
The archaeologist Colin Renfrew (1973) called it the development of this dating method 'the radiocarbon revolution' in describing its great impact upon the human sciences.
The job of a radiocarbon laboratory is to measure the remaining amounts of radiocarbon in a carbon sample.
This means that its atomic structure is not stable and there is an uneasy relationship between the particles in the nucleus of the atom itself.
You can work out that after about 50 000 years of time, all the radiocarbon will have gone.
Therefore, radiocarbon dating is not able to date anything older than 60 or 70 000 years old.
The radiocarbon method was developed by a team of scientists led by the late Professor Willard F.
Libby of the University of Chicago after the end of World War 2.
After twice that time (about 11000 years), another half of that remaining amount will have disappeared.