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Archaeologists precisely measure levels of the isotope in organic remains.
Knowing the halflife, they back calculate how much time must have passed since the remains had levels identical to living organisms.
It has resulted in artificially high levels of carbon-14 in plants and animals living in the past 60 years.
The mass spectrometry of the Greyfriars bone samples reveals that the individual in question had a high-protein diet including a significant proportion of seafood.This does not, of course, prove that the bones are those of Richard III.What it does is remove one possibility which could have proved that these are not Richard’s remains.A large increase in atmospheric carbon-14 occurred when the United States and several other countries tested nuclear weapons aboveground during the 1950s and 1960s (see Figure 1).The Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty of 1963 effectively ended the era of atmospheric testing for most nuclear powers.