Carbon dating has given archeologists a more accurate method by which they can determine the age of ancient artifacts.
Familiar to us as the black substance in charred wood, as diamonds, and the graphite in “lead” pencils, carbon comes in several forms, or isotopes.
One rare form has atoms that are 14 times as heavy as hydrogen atoms: carbon-14, or C ratio gets smaller.
Because of this relatively short half-life, radiocarbon is useful for dating items of a relatively recent vintage, as far back as roughly 50,000 years before the present epoch.
Radiocarbon dating cannot be used for older specimens, because so little carbon-14 remains in samples that it cannot be reliably measured.
The 1SD error in the mean BP calendar estimate for the VM is 8.5 years.
The 1SD error in the C BP age is 8.5 * 2.77 or 24 years.
The calendar years are the number of years before 1950. The 2SD (1404 – 1438) range of dates for the Voynich Manuscript (VM) lies on the double peak D of the distribution graph C close to an ambiguous region of the curve.
I modeled, using a least squares fit to a straight line, the raw C BP data from BP -486 to -586 from the 2004 tree ring curve Cal04 files/Int Cal04_
SCD is the artificial clumping or spreading of calendar dates and is considered due to the interaction of the error in the Fig.4. Note the correspondence between the peaks and troughs of the non-ambiguous regions () of the tree ring calibration curve.
For a single C age, non-ambiguous regions of the curve correspond to a single calendar date, while ambiguous regions have multiple calendar dates.
The halflife of carbon 14 is 5730 ± 30 years, and the method of dating lies in trying to determine how much carbon 14 (the radioactive isotope of carbon) is present in the artifact and comparing it to levels currently present in the atmosphere.