Dating news

Dendrochronology anomalies

Bob Porter reports on gaps in the Belfast Chronology in a recent article authored by Mike Baillie and D Brown, 'Confirming the existence of gaps and depletions in the Irish oak tree ring record' in Dendrochronologia 30 (2012) pages 85-91. The aim of the article was to show that over the last 20 to 30 years some these gaps have been bridged - but not entirely so. Some of the bridging is not perhaps as firm as they would have wished. Anomalies still exist. Trees, that should bridge them do not.

C14 dating updates and tree rings dating anomalies

At ... the Maya long count calendar has been linked directly into the European calendar by C14 dating methodology. The idea of this arose from the fact the Mayan calendar went out of use when Europeans arrived and brought their culture to a close. No comparisons could be drawn - and now, it is hoped, this has been rectified. The idea is to correlate the historical record of the Maya with the historical events recorded elsewhere, a thoroughly worthwhile endeavour.

Quelccaya Ice Core

Excitement about the release of an 1800 year old ice core from the Peruvian Andes, which will be used to compare with other ice cores around the world. Lonnie Thompson, who notorious for not sharing his data, which has caused some to view his work with suspicion, and Ohio State University, are involved - see

Fishy C14 data

A post at ... describes how fish can cause problems with C14 dating methodology, even in pottery where fish have been cooked - and presumably in the bones of humans that ate a lot of fish. The discovery of the anomaly came from Denmark and attempts to date material from the Ertobolle culture people, who had a marine based diet. As a result of the Danish research we have what is known as the reservoir effect.

Number Four

Biblical Numbers have exercised the minds of numerous scholars over the years but we are little wiser after all that ink has been spent. The number 4 and its multiples, such as 40 and 400, play an important role in Biblical chronology - but what does 4 imply?

Pollen in sediments matches low growth tree ring data

There aren't a lot of posts under 'Dating' here but for a change we have one - go to ... ancient pollen and charcoal preserved in sediments from the Nile delta have revealed a series of past super-droughts - accompanied by evidence of landscape fire. In dry periods the wetland zones is more prone to fire so this does not imply fire from an exotic source such as the sky. What they found was that during periods of lower wetland pollen the amount of charcoal increased.

C14 goes longer ... and longer back in time

This post should really be up on the forum but it doesn't actually provide any firm dates to compare anything with - it more or less says they have the ability, in some circumstances, of C14 dating back as far as 50,000 + years into the past. See and

Ice Cores

Although this piece can be found at and therefore classifiable as climate change it also has a bearing on dating and chronology. Ice cores have been criticised out of hand by Charles Ginenthal and Emmet Sweeney for example, in SIS and related literature, as well as a raft of Creationist web sites and tracts. In particular, the story of WWII aeroplanes discovered buried under a very deep amount of snow has been used to deride the concept of ice cores.

Chronology of Beth Shan

Peter James, in a review of a book edited by Amihai Mazar, Excavations at Tell Beth Shean, Palestine Exploration Quarterly 142 has suggested the fall of level V should be redated to 732BC and the time of Tiglath Pileser III (copies of the review can be obtained via Eric Aitchison).

Tel Qudadi

At ... we learn that Tel Qudadi, a fortress on the mouth of the Yarkon River (now part of modern Tel Aviv) was not a fortified place of Solomon or of Ahab, as previously designated - but was an Assyrian fort of the late 8th/ early 7th centuries BC. Hence, pottery styles and other cultural artifacts within Tel Qudadi may likewise have to be adjusted. I wonder what Bob Porter and chums are saying on Yahoo?