Carbindating

Some of the first radiocarbon dates produced showed that the Scottish tombs were thousands of years older than those in Greece.The barbarians of the north were capable of designing complex structures similar to those in the classical world.Moving away from techniques, the most exciting thing about radiocarbon is what it reveals about our past and the world we live in.Radiocarbon dating was the first method that allowed archaeologists to place what they found in chronological order without the need for written records or coins.

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This supported the idea that the classical worlds of Greece and Rome were at the centre of all innovations.

The calibrated date is also presented, either in BC or AD or with the unit cal BP (calibrated before present - before 1950).

The calibrated date is our “best estimate” of the sample’s actual age, but we need to be able to return to old dates and recalibrate them because new research is continually used to update the calibration curve.

Radiocarbon dates are presented in two ways because of this complication.

The uncalibrated date is given with the unit BP (radiocarbon years before 1950).

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