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Carbon has unique properties that are essential for life on Earth.Familiar to us as the black substance in charred wood, as diamonds, and the graphite in “lead” pencils, carbon comes in several forms, or isotopes.The samples were tested for various chemical and physical properties, and the bulk soil organic matter and humin fractions were analyzed on a mass spectrometer to determine δ13C values.Graphs of the isotopic values were examined and the bulk and humin δ13C enrichment values for the landscape feature categories were compared statistically using ANOVA methods.

P.) relied on maize agriculture to support their populations.Accordingly, carbon dating carefully applied to items from historical times can be useful.However, even with such historical calibration, archaeologists do not regard C produced and therefore dating the system.Maize, a plant that uses the C4 photosynthetic pathway, leaves a different carbon (13C) isotopic signal in the soil than the C3 plants of the native forest vegetation.Soil profiles were collected from various landscape features around the Classic Maya site of Aguateca: bajos (or wetlands), control locations (areas not conducive to agriculture), defensible locations (areas within or near defensive walls), rehoyadas (natural karst depressions), and upland locations (level soils from across the rest of the landscape).

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One rare form has atoms that are 14 times as heavy as hydrogen atoms: carbon-14, or C ratio gets smaller.

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  1. Tissues formed after 1955 are dated to within 0.3–1.3 y of formation, depending on the tissue type, whereas tissues older than C dating of tissues has applications to stable isotope (paleo)ecology and wildlife forensics.