Carbon dating inaccuracies

Since 1949, the process of carbon dating has become widely (if not universally) accepted to the point where it has supposedly settled many of those dating disputes.Adding to the debate was the announcement of a recent study last month in the Cornell Chronicle.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.But new research shows that commonly accepted radiocarbon dating standards can miss the mark — calling into question historical timelines.Archaeologist Sturt Manning and colleagues have revealed variations in the radiocarbon cycle at certain periods of time, affecting frequently cited standards used in archaeological and historical research relevant to the southern Levant region, which includes Israel, southern Jordan and Egypt.

Even modern archaeology experiences disagreements over what the timelines for different periods should look like.

However, most are unaware that the Carbon dating results published for archaeological remains are not the raw results from the radiocarbon tests.

The raw results have a “calibration curve” applied to them to reach the final number.

What methods do they use and how do these methods work?

In this article, we will examine the methods by which scientists use radioactivity to determine the age of objects, most notably carbon-14 dating.

Leave a Reply