The development of radiocarbon dating has had a profound impact on archaeology.
In addition to permitting more accurate dating within archaeological sites than previous methods, it allows comparison of dates of events across great distances.
radiation are similar to measurements for the rest of the biosphere.
Correcting for isotopic fractionation, as is done for all radiocarbon dates to allow comparison between results from different parts of the biosphere, gives an apparent age of about 440 years for ocean surface water.
The method was developed by Willard Libby in the late 1940s and soon became a standard tool for archaeologists.