Problems with radio carbon dating
But it has two inherent problems that have been, for the most part, ignored.
When that background contamination is found to be too high, no further attempt is made to date that painting.
Rowe) One of the more frequently asked questions about rock art is: How old is it?
There was a revolution in our ability to answer that important question starting three decades ago (1977).
Most radiocarbon dates on rock paintings have been attained through three major techniques: (1) dating the carbon from black paintings with charcoal pigments; (2) dating other pigments that are also organic, and more rarely pigments that include discrete organic materials that can be removed physically; and (3) dating the carbon extracted from mineral pigmented paintings in which organic matter was added in the preparation of the paints.
All of these techniques have distinctly different advantages and challenges in their application.