Carbon dating looks at the half life of Carbon-14 in order to determine the age of something. Since Carbon 14 has a half-life of about 5700 years, it is difficult to estimate it when it is very early in its decomposition. Missing just a bit of Carbon-14 from the source could mean its anywhere from 5 to 500 years old. Carbon dating is best suited to date objects that have significant time to allow their Carbon-14 deposits to wither, making the tests more reliable.
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