That means that the play was without fail written after (in Latin, post) 1587.The same inductive mechanism is applied in archaeology, geology and paleontology, by many ways.
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Dating material drawn from the archaeological record can be made by a direct study of an artifact, or may be deduced by association with materials found in the context the item is drawn from or inferred by its point of discovery in the sequence relative to datable contexts.
Dating is carried out mainly post excavation, but to support good practice, some preliminary dating work called "spot dating" is usually run in tandem with excavation.
Yet, as simple and straightforward as this seems, the process of dating objects via radiocarbon is far from simple and straightforward.
Here I will present what radiocarbon is, the dating methods, the assumptions that govern them, and the known discrepancies that plague the method.
With a thorough understanding of this dating method, it is my opinion that its ingenious fundamentals can be appreciated, yet greatly overshadowed by its limitations.
Radiocarbon Every day cosmic rays bombard our atmosphere.
Historians, for example, know that Shakespeare's play Henry V was not written before 1587 because Shakespeare's primary source for writing his play was the second edition of Raphael Holinshed's Chronicles, not published until 1587.
Thus, 1587 is the post quem dating of Shakespeare's play Henry V.
These cosmic rays release free neutrons which zip around our nitrogen rich atmosphere at high velocities.
The neutrons eventually slow down and bond with the nucleus of the nitrogen changing the atomic weight to that of an unstable carbon atom, Carbon 14 (or C14) (Warf, 212 & Taylor, 6).
As is common fact, plants photosynthesize and consume CO2, fixing its carbon.