Carbon dating inaccuracies


05-Mar-2020 23:10

They found that contemporary plant material growing in the southern Levant shows an average offset in radiocarbon age of about 19 years compared the current Northern Hemisphere standard calibration curve.

Manning noted that “scholars working on the early Iron Age and Biblical chronology in Jordan and Israel are doing sophisticated projects with radiocarbon age analysis, which argue for very precise findings. But our work indicates that it’s arguable their fundamental basis is faulty — they are using a calibration curve that is not accurate for this region.” Applying their results to previously published chronologies, the researchers show how even the relatively small offsets they observe can shift calendar dates by enough to alter ongoing archaeological, historical and paleoclimate debates.

The carbon dates made the samples appear older than they really were.

Manning noted in the Chronicle that, “Scholars working on the early Iron Age and Biblical chronology in Jordan and Israel are doing sophisticated projects with radiocarbon age analysis, which argue for very precise findings. But our work indicates that it’s arguable their fundamental basis is faulty – they are using a calibration curve that is not accurate for this region.”Carbon dating utilizes a very exact process present in nature to come up with its results.

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At an ar­chaeological dig, a piece of wooden tool is unearthed and the archaeologist finds it to be 5,000 years old.Sturt Manning, Professor of Classical Archaeology at Cornell University, and colleagues, recorded a series of carbon 14 dates in tree rings from southern Jordan near Petra that have sent tremors through the field of archaeology.Manning chose to test juniper trees (Juniperus phoenicea) that were of a type used for building construction at Taybet Zaman, Jordan and could give unbroken sequences of rings back several hundred years.These tree rings were of known dates between AD 16.

They showed that the average discrepancy between the known ages and those supplied by radiocarbon dating was 19 years.

This calibration curve adds additional assumptions to the process as well as additional opportunities for error.



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