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Improved techniques now date the earliest stone structures at Stonehenge to about 2600 B. Sir Joseph Norman Lockyer, who co-discovered helium and founded the journal, Nature, wrote in 1901 that the Heel Stone section of Stonehenge "had been originally aligned with the summer solstice" and calculated that it was built in 1800 B. Further investigations have suggested that Stonehenge was an astronomical observatory, a place of worship and healing or perhaps a cemetery.
Whatever its exact history, origins or age, thousands each year flock to Stonehenge to welcome the sun on the summer solstice.
I mean, we only met because she'd seen me painting on the cave wall with ash mixed with boar's blood and berry juice.
She was all "Ag, ag, ag, arg," and pointed at this one drawing I did of a bunch of my friends chasing a mammoth. So she was like "Aaaah, gaaaah, uck," and slapped her chest and waved at some other part of the cave wall, and I went over there and what do you know, she's painting on the wall too!
There were some cute drawings of fires and what looked like a bunch of us in the cave, and she also drew a mammoth, but it was with another mammoth. I banged on the second mammoth and said "Graaaaaaaaa," and she acted like it was nothing that she came up with the idea of two mammoths. I might have told my friends about it later, when we were all jumping around and bellowing by the lake, and I know some of them could smell it on me and they're acting like, you're the man.
The book was born out of his long-running column of the same name for The Awl, the popular blog run by former Gawker editors Alex Balk and Choire Sicha, which posts highbrow commentary and sometimes bear videos.Correction: The original version of this post misstated the cause of inaccuracy in first-generation radiocarbon dating. It also linked to, and partially relied on, a website of dubious validity. Thus, as the radioactive carbon-14 in dead matter decays to the more plentiful isotope carbon-12, the proportion of C-14 to C-12 declines.Carbon-14 has a half-life of about 5,600 years, so measuring the proportion of C-14 that's still present in dead organic matter, and comparing it to the known proportion of C-14 in living matter, will indicate the age of the sample. Libby assumed the ratio of C-14 to C-12 was constant, but the enormous amount of old carbon (from coal, petroleum and other fossil fuels) unearthed since the Industrial Revolution has changed the ratio.