The method was developed by Willard Libby in the late 1940s and soon became a standard tool for archaeologists.
Libby received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work in 1960.
We can't date oil paints, because their oil is "old" carbon from petroleum. And third, it is common to soak new-found fossils in a preservative, such as shellac.
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It is produced in the upper atmosphere by radiation from the sun.
(Specifically, neutrons hit nitrogen-14 atoms and transmute them to carbon.) Land plants, such as trees, get their carbon from carbon dioxide in the air. The same is true of any creature that gets its carbon by eating such plants. Suppose such a creature dies, and the body is preserved.