new C14 technique

3 Apr 2015

At .... we are informed archaeologists will be able to get dating results quicker and cheaper which will be a massive boon. At the moment c14 dating is so expensive only a few sample are ever properly dated - unless the archaeology budget has big money as a back-up. The new technique can also be used on site - without being sent to a laboratory (and having to wait for weeks to get the reply). Significantly, the new technique has compared medieval and post medieval bone samples and come up with similar agreement on c14 laboratory dates. It uses mass spectrometry so how will it cope with the calibration curve when it is introduced to the new technique. It begins to fly off at a tangent in the first millennium BC, accounting for the plateau in dates at British Iron Age sites (for example). If we hear no more of the technique we may assume it contradicts calibration (and tree rings) but we may assume some way will be devised to get around the problem - in order to keep everyone happy (apart from the revisionists).