Carbon dating used date specimens
Charles then moved the family and nine-month-old Tom to New Zealand's rugged south island to start an archaeology department at the University of Otago in Dunedin.
As a teenager, Tom spent summers at Ban Na Di, a study site in northeastern Thailand, where his duties included helping with human excavations and brewing tea for the crew.
It’s not absolutely constant due to several variables that affect the levels of cosmic rays reaching the atmosphere, such as the fluctuating strength of the Earth’s magnetic field, solar cycles that influence the amount of cosmic rays entering the solar system, climatic changes and human activities.
Higham thinks that better carbon dating will help to resolve debates about whether the two ever met, swapped ideas or even had sex.
He concluded that they belonged to a Roman-era witch or prostitute.
“He did a good job of excavating, but he interpreted it totally wrong,” says Tom Higham, a 46-year-old archaeological scientist at the University of Oxford's Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit.
A detailed description of radiocarbon dating is available at the Wikipedia radiocarbon dating web page.
Bottom line: Radiocarbon dating is a technique used by scientists to learn the ages of biological specimens from the distant past.
Buckland's immediate successors did a little better.