Preserved leaves in the cores — “they look fresh as if they’ve fallen very recently”, Bronk Ramsey says — yielded 651 carbon dates that could be compared to the calendar dates of the sediment they were found in.
(Photo: Sagnlandet Lejre)Danish Stone Age settlements may turn out to be hundreds, perhaps thousands, of years younger than we thought.
A physicist from Aarhus University has together with archaeologists at the Gottorp Castle Museum in Northern Germany made a startling discovery: if ancient people prepared their fish in clay vessels, it’s impossible to date this accurately.
They just didn’t know how big it was, nor how fish affect the Carbon-14 contents in the clay vessels that they were prepared in.
Offering in 1952 his new radiocarbon method for calculating the age of organic material (the time interval since the plant or the animal died), W. Libby clearly saw the limitations of the method and the conditions under which his theoretical figures would be valid: A.
Archaeologists vehemently disagree over the effects changing climate and competition from recently arriving humans had on the Neanderthals' demise.
The more accurate carbon clock should yield better dates for any overlap of humans and Neanderthals, as well as for determining how climate changes influenced the extinction of Neanderthals.Marine records, such as corals, have been used to push farther back in time, but these are less robust because levels of carbon-14 in the atmosphere and the ocean are not identical and tend shift with changes in ocean circulation.Bronk Ramsey’s team aimed to fill this gap by using sediment from bed of Lake Suigetsu, west of Tokyo.Carbon-14 dating of potsherd from ancient people’s clay vessels is commonly used to determine the age of a Stone Age settlement.But this may method may well be fraught with errors.When these organisms die and fossilise, they appear to be much older than they actually are.