Radiocarbon dating its scope and limitations

18-Sep-2019 20:58

The California calibration should therefore hold for Europe.There is no need to assume that tree growth or tree rings are similar on the two continents, only that the atmospheric level of carbon 14 is the same at a given time.charge that "Archaeologists, and anthropologists possess the prerogative, however dishonest, to declare an already preconceived chronology for an area as established," is an unwarranted ad hominem attack.If anthropologists such as Solheim wished to buttress their theories dishonestly, they could do this by simply omitting any mention of discordant C-14 readings.Renfrew does not exclude the possibility of an ultimate derivation from the Near East: 'The possibility remains, however, that Long's desire to defend the scriptural account against scientific interpretations which threaten to impugn the Bible is understandable, and from a Christian point of view commendable. Hood, "The Tartaria Tablets," Scientific American, CCXVIII (May, 1968), 30-37.

On the basis of the new information from dendrochronology, i.e., the analysis of bristlecone pine tree-rings, it is possible to establish correction factors which succeed in achieving an excellent correlation of radiocarbon dates and Egyptian data. the calibrated carbon-14 dates for Egypt agree far better with the historical chronology than the uncalibrated ones did." Noting that more than 100 rings max' exist within an inch of the Pinus aristata, the long-lived Bristlecone pine, Long wonders "how very much accuracy is obtainable." He further remarks, "By some magical process, known only to a few, dendrochronologists claim to be able to join tree-rings from different trees for a stage chronology of growth in time." His main contention is that the Suess calibration curve derived from the California trees has no validity for European dates inasmuch as trees of similar longevity have not beet) discovered in Europe.

Long does not deal with the issue of the development of agriculture in Mesoamerica, where the plants which were domesticated were pumpkins, peppers, and beaus." It is true that the domestication of plants in Mexico occurred at a relatively later date and played a very minor role for a long time. only 10% of the diet came from domesticated plants.

Nonetheless the Neolithic revolution in America seems to have developed quite independently of Old World influence.

Discordant readings are to be expected because of the very nature of radiocarbon dating and its limitations.

This does not invalidate the use of such datings as long as these limitations are recognized.

On the basis of the new information from dendrochronology, i.e., the analysis of bristlecone pine tree-rings, it is possible to establish correction factors which succeed in achieving an excellent correlation of radiocarbon dates and Egyptian data. the calibrated carbon-14 dates for Egypt agree far better with the historical chronology than the uncalibrated ones did." Noting that more than 100 rings max' exist within an inch of the Pinus aristata, the long-lived Bristlecone pine, Long wonders "how very much accuracy is obtainable." He further remarks, "By some magical process, known only to a few, dendrochronologists claim to be able to join tree-rings from different trees for a stage chronology of growth in time." His main contention is that the Suess calibration curve derived from the California trees has no validity for European dates inasmuch as trees of similar longevity have not beet) discovered in Europe.

Long does not deal with the issue of the development of agriculture in Mesoamerica, where the plants which were domesticated were pumpkins, peppers, and beaus." It is true that the domestication of plants in Mexico occurred at a relatively later date and played a very minor role for a long time. only 10% of the diet came from domesticated plants.

Nonetheless the Neolithic revolution in America seems to have developed quite independently of Old World influence.

Discordant readings are to be expected because of the very nature of radiocarbon dating and its limitations.

This does not invalidate the use of such datings as long as these limitations are recognized.

When Renfrew now asserts the priority of megalithic structures in western Europe and metallurgy in the Balkans he is denying the older theories of diffusion from the Near East in the first ease and from the Aegean in the second case.