More organic material from the Carnoustie excavations. Because wood and textiles contain carbon, archaeologists can use radiocarbon dating on samples like these. Radiocarbon dating tracks levels of carbon-14, an isotope or molecular variation of carbon. Because carbon-14 decays in a predictable manner over time, the levels provide a "clock" that reveals the age of the material.
The gold-decorated socket of a Bronze Age spearhead emerges from the soil in Scotland.
Archaeologists found the weapons hoard while excavating a Bronze Age pit. "As we were stripping the top soil to view more of these pits and postholes, we saw this glint of gold beneath the topsoil," GUARD Archaeology's Toolis said.