Radiocarbon dating calculation
The date of the transition from the archaeological period known as Iron Age I to Iron Age IIa is a particularly hotly disputed topic, especially because the date of the transition is crucial for elucidating the history and material culture of the reigns of David and Solomon. It is generally recognized that David conquered Jerusalem in about 1000 B. Radio-carbon dating is regarded by many scholars as accurate, precise and scientific, in contrast to the old cultural-historical methods of dating archaeological strata, which the devotees of radiocarbon regard as inaccurate and intuitive.
According to the so-called high chronology, the transition occurred around 1000 or 980 B. The hope of many scholars who feel that this science-based radiocarbon research will bring the debate to its longed-for solution is, in my view, difficult to adopt.
In other words the particular sample is either too late or too early No doubt the rejection of certain dates as “outliers” and their exclusion from the model may lead to different dates.In brief, radiocarbon dating compares the amount of c14 in a dead animal or plant to the available carbon in the atmosphere. But, carbon in the atmosphere has fluctuated over time, and so raw RCYBP dates must be calibrated to a more accurate time value. This glossary entry is part of the Dictionary of Archaeology.In general, radiocarbon dates can be calibrated by using comparable dendrochronological dates or other known dating systems. The question I would like to raise is whether radiocarbon dating is really more precise, objective and reliable than the traditional way of dating when applied to the problem of the date of the transition from Iron I to Iron IIa.This question is sharpened in light of the fact that the uncertainty in the usual radiocarbon readings (plus or minus 25 years or so) may be as large as the difference in dates in the debate. Measuring the remaining carbon-14 content in “long-term” organic samples, such as wood, will provide the date of growth of the tree, rather than the date of the archaeological stratum in which the sample was found.
Numerous software programs have been developed to complete the calibrations for the investigator, including a new online version of the best known software CALIB. Pearson 1986 High-precision calibration of the radiocarbon time scale, AD 1950-500 BC.