Accuracy of radiocarbon dating

"Every year the trees in our forests show the swing of Time's pendulum and put down a mark.They are chronographs, recording clocks, by which the succeeding seasons are set down through definite imprints," he wrote in the pages of National Geographic. Selector .selector_input_interaction .selector_input. Selector .selector_input_interaction .selector_spinner.

Radiocarbon dating was the first chronometric technique widely available to archaeologists and was especially useful because it allowed researchers to directly date the panoply of organic remains often found in archaeological sites including artifacts made from bone, shell, wood, and other carbon based materials.The latest high-tech equipment permits reliable results to be obtained even with microscopic samples.Radiometric dating is self-checking, because the data (after certain preliminary calculations are made) are fitted to a straight line (an "isochron") by means of standard linear regression methods of statistics.The older an object is, the less C-14 there is to be detected.That indicates how long the object has been around.Desmond Clark (1979:7) observed that without radiocarbon dating "we would still be foundering in a sea of imprecisions sometime bred of inspired guesswork but more often of imaginative speculation." And as Colin Renfrew (1973) aptly noted over 30 years ago, the "Radiocarbon Revolution" transformed how archaeologists could interpret the past and track cultural changes through a period in human history where we see among other things the massive migration of peoples settling virtually every major region of the world, the transition from hunting and gathering to more intensive forms of food production, and the rise of city-states.

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