"We had thought initially that we would be able to get samples all along the curve back to 30,000 years, put the points in, and then our work would be finished."You read in the books and find statements that such and such a society or archaeological site is 20,000 years old."We learned rather abruptly that these numbers, these ancient ages, are not known; in fact, it is at about the time of the first dynasty of Egypt that the earliest historical date of any real certainty has been established. So we had, in the initial stages, the opportunity to check against knowns, principally EGYPTIAN ARTIFACTS, and in the second stage we had to go into the great wilderness of prehistory to see whether there were elements of internal consistency which would lead one to believe that the method was sound" (Willard F. Libby, "Radiocarbon Dating," American Scientist, Vol. 44, No. 1, Jan. 1956, p. 107).
"There was only one way to check the reliability of radiocarbon dating over a longer span," noted archaeologist Edward S. Deevey, Jr., "and that was to test it on the materials of GEOLOGY and PREHISTORIC ARCHAEOLOGY. The age of such materials is not 'known' in the same sense as that of mummy cases or trees [and these are suspect]" (Edward S. Deevey, Jr., "Radiocarbon Dating," Scientific American, Vol. 186, No. 2, Feb. 1959, p. 25).
"If this production has proceeded at a constant rate for many thousands of years, then the amount of C-14 present on the surface of the earth should reach a CONSTANT value" ("Radiocarbon Dating," McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science and Technology, 1966 edition, Vol. 11, p. 291).
"If one were to imagine that the cosmic radiation had been turned off until a short while ago, the enormous amount of radiocarbon necessary to the equilibrium state WOULD NOT have been manufactured and the specific radioactivity of living matter would be MUCH LESS than the rate of production calculated from the neutron intensity" (Willard F. Libby, Radiocarbon Dating, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1955, p. 8).