The Hallstatt plateau is a term used in archaeology that refers to a consistently flat area on graphs that plot radiocarbon dating against calendar dates. Radiocarbon dates of around BP Before Present always calibrate to c. Just before and after the plateau, calibration is accurate; during the plateau only techniques like wiggle matching can yield useful calendar dates. The plateau is named after the Hallstatt culture period in central Europe with which it coincides. Wiggle matching involves taking a series of radiocarbon dates where the prior knowledge about the true calendar dates of the samples can be expressed as known differences in age between those samples, or occasionally as differences in age with some small uncertainty.
Radiocarbon Dating Principles
Radiocarbon Dating - Reliable but Misunderstood
The imposing Judahite fortress of Khirbet Qeiyafa has been securely dated by pottery and radiocarbon analysis to the early tenth century B. But archaeology says otherwise. Did they live in the archaeological period known as Iron Age I, which is archaeologically poorly documented, or in Iron Age IIa, for which more evidence is available. Proponents of low Bible chronology, called minimalists , claim the transition occurred around to B. Proponents of a high Bible chronology put the date around to B. Some scholars have asked if radiocarbon dating accuracy will help settle the question. What is radiocarbon dating?
Statistical time-series analysis has the potential to improve our understanding of human-environment interaction in deep time. However, radiocarbon dating-the most common chronometric technique in archaeological and palaeoenvironmental research-creates challenges for established statistical methods. The methods assume that observations in a time-series are precisely dated, but this assumption is often violated when calibrated radiocarbon dates are used because they usually have highly irregular uncertainties. As a result, it is unclear whether the methods can be reliably used on radiocarbon-dated time-series. With this in mind, we conducted a large simulation study to investigate the impact of chronological uncertainty on a potentially useful time-series method.
There are many carbon atoms in our environment. The vast majority of these are 12 C pronounced "c twelve" , the stable isotope of carbon. However, cosmic radiation constantly collides with atoms in the upper atmosphere. Part of the result of these collisions is the production of radiocarbon 14 C, pronounced "c fourteen" , carbon atoms which are chemically the same as stable carbon, but have two extra neutrons.