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When a living thing dies, its radiocarbon loss (decay) is no longer balanced by intake, so its radiocarbon steadily decreases with a half-life of 5,730 years.
If we knew the amount of carbon-14 in an organism when it died, we could attempt to date the time of death.
Plants take in carbon dioxide, incorporating in their tissues both carbon-14 (unstable) and normal carbon-12 (stable) in the same proportion as they occur in the atmosphere .
Carbon-14 then moves up the various food chains to enter animal tissueagain, in about the same ratio carbon-14 has with carbon-12 in the atmosphere.
However, before accepting any radiocarbon date, one should know how the technique works, its limitations, and its assumptions.