Carbon dating years
Carbon dating the Dead Sea Scrolls refers to a series of radiocarbon dating tests performed on the Dead Sea Scrolls, first by the AMS (Accelerator Mass Spectrometry) lab of the Zurich Institute of Technology in 1991 and then by the AMS Facility at the University of Arizona in Tucson in 1994-95.
There was also a historical test of a piece of linen performed in 1950 by Willard Libby, the inventor of the dating method.
The method assumes, among other things, that the earth's age exceeds the time it would take for C-14 production to be in equilibrium with C-14 decay.
Since it would only take less than 50,000 years to reach equilibrium from a world with no C-14 at the start, this always seemed like a good assumption.
In reality, its measured disequilibrium points to just such a world-altering event, not many years ago.
Carbon dating is used to determine the age of biological artifacts up to 50,000 years old.
Carbon normally occurs as Carbon-12, but radioactive Carbon-14 may sometimes be formed in the outer atmosphere as Nitrogen-14 undergoes cosmic ray bombardment.
This calibrated range of dates is represented in the last column, given with a 2-sigma error rating, which means at 95% confidence.