Radiocarbon decays slowly in a living organism, and the amount lost is continually replenished as long as the organism takes in air or food.Once the organism dies, however, it ceases to absorb carbon-14, so that the amount of the radiocarbon in its tissues steadily decreases.
Buried beneath about 2.7-3.4 m (8.8-11.2 ft) of calcareous loess were the remains of four oval to circular huts, with surface areas of between 12 to 24 square meters (120-240 square feet) each.The majority of animal bone found at the site are mammoth and hare but smaller elements of wooly rhinoceros, horse, reindeer, bison, brown bear, cave lion, wolverine, wolf, and fox are also represented and were probably butchered and consumed on site.Mezhirich has been the focus of a suite of radiocarbon dates, primarily because while there are numerous hearths at the site and an abundance of bone charcoal, there is almost no wood charcoal. Mammoth bone deposits and subsistence practices during Mid-Upper Palaeolithic in Central Europe: three cases from Moravia and Poland. The archaeological site of Mezhirich (sometimes spelled Mezhyrich) is an Upper Paleolithic (Epigravettian) site located in the Middle Dnepr (or Dneiper) Valley region of Ukraine near Kiev, and it is one of the best-preserved sites of its type excavated to date.Mezhirich is a large open air site where several mammoth bone huts with hearths and pit features were used between about 14,000-15,000 years ago.At least three of the huts were occupied at approximately the same time.About 149 individual mammoths are believed to be represented at the site, either as building material (for the structures) or as food (from refuse found in nearby pits) or as fuel (as burned bone in nearby hearths).The carbon-14 method was developed by the American physicist Willard F. It has proved to be a versatile technique of dating fossils and archaeological specimens from 500 to 50,000 years old.The method is widely used by Pleistocene geologists, anthropologists, archaeologists, and investigators in related fields.About 10 large pits, with diameters between 2-3 m (6.5-10 ft) and depths between .7-1.1 m (2.3-3.6 ft) were found surrounding the mammoth-bone structures at Mezhirich, filled with bone and ash, and are believed to have been used as either meat storage facilities, refuse pits, or both.Internal and external hearths surround the dwellings, and these are filled with burnt mammoth bone. Stone tools are dominated by microliths, while bone and ivory tools include needles, awls, perforators, and polishers.