Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Radiocalcium Dating

Method for dating bone directly that has a useful range of about 300 ky. As in radiocarbon dating, radiocalcium (41Ca) is taken up by organisms during their lifetimes in small quantities along with stable calcium (40Ca); 41Ca has a half-life of 100 ky. The technique is highly dependent upon local 41Ca: 40Ca ratios, and burial of bone in a thick overburden that shields it from further transformation by cosmic rays.

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