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C-14 locked in an object from several thousand years ago will decay at a certain rate.
With their knowledge of chemistry, archeologists can measure how many thousands of years old an object is.
Different dating methods may be needed to confirm the age of a sample.
For example, a study of the Amitsoq gneisses from western Greenland used five different radiometric dating methods to examine twelve samples and got agreement to within 30 million years on an age of 3,640my.
Measurements should be taken on samples from different parts of the rock body.
This helps to counter the effects of heating and squeezing, which a rock may experience in its long history.
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If we look at the C-14 atom one more time, we find that C-14 does not last forever.
If you have looked at a periodic table, you may have noticed that the atomic mass of an element is rarely an even number. If you are an atom with an extra electron, it's no big deal.
As you learn more about chemistry, you will probably hear about carbon-14. C-14 is considered an isotope of the element carbon.
All ordinary matter is made up of combinations of chemical elements, each with its own atomic number, indicating the number of protons in the atomic nucleus.
Elements exist in different isotopes, with each isotope of an element differing in the number of neutrons in the nucleus.