Bowman radiocarbon dating
Approaching archaeological techniques and artifacts from an interpretive viewpoint, the series looks in detail at specific classes of artifacts that have contributed most to our knowledge of the past, and at particular invest Radiocarbon Dating inaugurates a new series, "Interpreting the Past," published jointly by the British Museum and the University of California Press.Approaching archaeological techniques and artifacts from an interpretive viewpoint, the series looks in detail at specific classes of artifacts that have contributed most to our knowledge of the past, and at particular investigative techniques that are now being used to refine this knowledge and thereby to question previous assumptions.Even if the systematic errors are not corrected, the laboratory can estimate the magnitude of the effect and include this in the published error estimates for their results.
Some techniques have been developed to extend the range of dating further into the past, including isotopic enrichment, or large samples and very high precision counters.
In 1970, the British Museum radiocarbon laboratory ran weekly measurements on the same sample for six months.
The results varied widely (though consistently with a normal distribution of errors in the measurements), and included multiple date ranges (of 1σ confidence) that did not overlap with each other.
These errors can be reduced by extending the counting duration: for example, testing a modern benzene sample will find about eight decay events per minute per gram of benzene, and 250 minutes of counting will suffice to give an error of ± 80 years, with 68% confidence.
If the benzene sample contains carbon that is about 5,730 years old (the half-life of To be completely accurate, the error term quoted for the reported radiocarbon age should incorporate counting errors not only from the sample, but also from counting decay events for the reference sample, and for blanks.