Outline some limitations in using radiocarbon dating
According to the University of Arizona, the publishers of ).
This gives consumers of radiocarbon services a wide range of choices in where and how to obtain a radiocarbon chronology.
The factors discussed below are challenges of which all Africanists must be keenly aware, but there are additional considerations that are more generally applicable, yet no less relevant (e.g., Bayliss Diagenesis is a process in which the chemical components of a substance are altered from their primary states.
Accelerator mass spectrometry has made radiocarbon dating the most precise method to determine the death of living organisms that occurred within the last 50,000 years.However, the method is not without limitations and this review article provides Africanist archaeologists with cautionary insights as to when, where, and how to utilize radiocarbon dates.Specifically, the review will concentrate on the potential of carbon reservoirs and recycled organic remains to inflate apparent age estimates, diagenesis of carbon isotopes in variable p H ecologies, and hot-humid climates and non-climate-controlled archives that can compromise the efficacy of samples.However, a precise estimate of the age of an artifact (e.g., 10,000 ± 10 years before present ) is worthless if the sample is contaminated or has moved from its primary context, compromising its accuracy.This review article will focus specifically on potential sources of error and critical evaluation of radiocarbon dates .