The Harvard Archaeology Program Seminar Series Presents
"Breaking the 100 Year Limit in Radiocarbon Resolution for Archeological Chronologies: The View from the Excavation and From the Laboratory"
Max Planck-Weizmann Centre for Integrative Archaeology and Anthropology,
D-REAMS Radiocarbon Laboratory, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot 76100, Israel
Radiocarbon dating has been challenged to address and resolve chronological problems below the 100 year resolution. The combined use of bones and short-lived charred organic remains, high-precision dating together with fine-scale stratigraphy and well characterized context-event relations, can break the barrier of 100 years. This however depends on whether the absolute chronology based on radiocarbon dating of short-lived materials reflects closely the time of burial of the material and the age of the archaeological level, and the state of preservation and the level of contamination of the samples permit accurate dating. But can these assumptions be validated? The results from archaeological sites and a modern ethnographic village provide some insight into these questions.