Archaeology

Progress and pitfalls in radiocarbon dating

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Abstract

Arising from: P. Mellars Nature 439, 931–935 (2006); Mellars replies

The review by Mellars1 provides an archaeological perspective on some of the latest developments in radiocarbon dating of bone. However, his presentation, calibration and interpretation of radiocarbon ages are misleading in some cases, and important technical advances in the pretreatment of other sample types that have increased dating accuracy have been overlooked. These considerations may undermine the conclusions drawn about past human dispersals.

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Figure 1: Selected radiocarbon comparison curves for the period 25,000–60,000 calibrated years before present (BP).

References

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Correspondence to Chris S. M. Turney.

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Turney, C., Roberts, R. & Jacobs, Z. Progress and pitfalls in radiocarbon dating. Nature 443, E3 (2006) doi:10.1038/nature05214

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