Dating news

different ways of dating things

An interesting development at ... the Isthmus of Panama formed between 17 and 15 million years ago rather than 3 million years ago, according to research published in the journal Science that used a novel way of dating zircon in rocks (April 12th, see The new dates are roughly contemporary with the time it is thought an ice cap fetched up on the Antarctic continent.

new C14 technique

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).

dating by foraminifera fossils

Dating,periods of time, even cycles of the ebb and flow of global temperatures, have been aided and abetted by the lowly foraminifera, or rather, the shells of tiny sea creatures (marine plankton). It was always assumed foraminifera isotopes record the temperatures above where they are found on the ocean or sea floor. They are embedded, most importantly, in Ice Age theory and the idea of 100,000 year cycles of cold climate and brief warming episodes.

Greenland Ice Sheet

Tim Cullen has come up with two more posts on how the ice cores were calculated - which will not please the defenders of the faith ... see .. and the the great greenland snow job 08 (an no doubt he has not finished yet). I don't pretend to know if his criticism is valid or not but it is interesting to know a bit about how such calculations are made. Simply picking out pieces of odd data and criticising that is not of course enough to rest a case for bunkum.

radioactive decay rates

At face value this new paper at Astroparticle Physics 55 (2014) seems to be a case of circling the wagons, a sort of confirmation of the consensus view. Readers may like to make up their own minds by going to the press release - see

Stretching the Dark Age

At ... the Greek Bronze Age ended 100 years earlier than thought according to a Bayesian averaging of C14 dates undertaken in a recent study. It was a fairly comprehensive exercise by the sound of it - but there was perhaps a nefarious undercurrent at the same time as it was designed to fit in with the chronology advocated by those who would date the Thera eruption to the low growth tree ring event (and ice core acidity anomaly) around 1625BC.

Volcanic Fingerprints

Each volcanic eruption gives birth to a unique signature in the composition of the ash and in the glass shards that lodge within soil. Even eruptions from the same volcano have different chemical elements, even down to the shape of the shards. A volcano in Alaska that blew in the 9th century AD has a distinctly high chlorine content and this has helped identify its fingerprint across Europe and northern N America - see The research was done at Queens University Belfash.

Calendars and Sea Levels

Yes, back to another post at ... which on this occasion takes a look at Illig, Niemitz, and Hunnivari, who have each produced a different version of an AD revision to that of Gunnar Heinsohn. I'm not sure to what extent the arguments are valid but here we go - starting with Zoltan Hunnivari, who was unable to find a suitable eclipse to fit the prodigy seen on the death of Augustus Caesar in AD14. This supposes that such a prodigy did occur and even if it did that it was an eclipse (or rather an annular eclipse).

Ice cores, tree rings, radiocarbon ... in the News

Doug Keenan refers Bob Porter to an article in the Journal of Geophysics Research 117 (2012), 'Holocene tephras highlight complexity of volcanic signals in Greenland ice cores' at NewChronology [at] yahoogroups [dot] com


At ... Tim Cullen introduces the concept of catastrophic outliers in dendro constructs that are artefacts of the smoothing process within calibration of tree rings and C14. It is a remarkable insight into what may or may not be what happened during the construction of the modern dating system so faithfully relied upon by archaeologists, historians, and various others - including anthropologists (in the previous post).