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Thus carbon-14 has six protons and eight neutrons.) Carbon-12 is by far the most abundant carbon isotope, and carbon-12 and -13 are both stable.
It can theoretically be used to date anything that was alive any time during the last 60,000 years or so, including charcoal from ancient fires, wood used in construction or tools, cloth, bones, seeds, and leather.
In this way, calibration tables have been developed that eliminate the discrepancy.
Despite its usefulness, radiocarbon dating has a number of limitations.
Carbon dating is used to determine the age of biological artifacts up to 50,000 years old.
This technique is widely used on recent artifacts, but educators and students alike should note that this technique will not work on older fossils (like those of the dinosaurs alleged to be millions of years old).
It cannot be applied to inorganic material such as stone tools or ceramic pottery.