The stable C12 and C13, and the unstable or radioactive Carbon 14. Only one C14 atom exists for every one trillion C12 atoms.Nitrogen atoms in the upper atmosphere are struck by cosmic radiation and create C14 atoms.However if the iron contains carbon, and many types of iron such as wrought iron and steel and cast iron do indeed contain carbon, then the carbon can be extracted and dated by the C14 method.
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These anomalies have driven archaeologists to question their earlier conclusions about archaeological sites and their respective civilizations founded on artefact dating.
Many theories about societies and their cultures have been based solely on C14 dating results.
The most important archaeological dating method is radiocarbon dating.
It is a technique that can yield absolute dates with accuracy up to approximately 5000 years before present.
The honest archaeologist can no longer propose theories and ideas without bringing a wider plate of evidences to the history table.
Hi there, just a brief comment, you say: "(iron cannot be tested using C14)" and strictly speaking of course pure iron contains no carbon and thus cannot be dated by the C14 method.
Some examples of abnormal C14 results include testing of recently harvested, live mollusc shells from the Hawaiian coast that showed that they had died 2000 years ago and snail shells just killed in Nevada, USA, dated in at 27,000 years old.
A freshly killed seal at Mc Murdo Sound, Antarctica, yielded a death age of 1300 years ago.
There are a number of articles on the subject that can easily be found on the internet and these cover the many pitfalls that can be encountered, such as the use of fossil carbon sources such as coal to make iron.