New radiocarbon dating calibration curve developed
|The new method will provide improved accuracy|
in dating organic matter [Credit: Web]
The radiocarbon calibration curve would allow researchers to reliably date everything from items like the recently excavated bones of King Richard III, to confirm they were from the right time period, to baby woolly mammoths preserved in permafrost in Siberia. It also provides reliable time-scales for those seeking to understand ancient environments, including members of the International Panel on Climate Change.
Professor Paula Reimer, from Queen’s University Belfast added: “This project built on research begun in the 1980s at Queen’s and elsewhere and is essential for the continued utility and development of radiocarbon dating.”
The release of the new curve is the culmination of five years of research funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and more than ten years of research by the teams at Sheffield and Queen’s Universities which involved collation of data from colleagues across the world, development of rigorous quality control procedures for selecting the best data, building of tailored statistical models and the writing of thousands of lines of computer code.
The research paper is published in the current issue of the journal Radiocarbon.
Source: University of Sheffield [December 03, 2013]