However, even with such historical calibration, archaeologists do not regard C produced and therefore dating the system.
The amount of cosmic rays reaching the Earth varies with the sun's activity, and with the Earth's passage through magnetic clouds as the solar system travels around the Milky Way galaxy.
This also has to be corrected for. Second, the ratio of C in the atmosphere at that time to be estimated, and so partial calibration of the “clock” is possible.
Accordingly, carbon dating carefully applied to items from historical times can be useful.
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.