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The next big step in the radiocarbon dating method would be Accelerated Mass Spectrometry which was developed in the late 1980s and published its first results in 1994 (3).This was a giant leap forward in that it offered far more accurate dates for a far smaller sample (9); this made destruction of samples a far less delicate issue to researchers, especially on artefacts such as The Shroud of Turin for which accurate dates were now possible without damaging a significant part of the artefact.

In 1979, Desmond Clark said of the method “we would still be foundering in a sea of imprecisions sometime bred of inspired guesswork but more often of imaginative speculation” (3).Radiocarbon dating is simply a measure of the level of C isotopes in the atmosphere can vary.This is why calibration against objects whose age is known is required (14).When the half-life was corrected in 1950, the year was taken as a base date from which to calculate all resulting dates.Therefore, any expression of “before present” will mean “before 1950”.