Carbon 14 dating archaeology
Hopefully, as radiocarbon dating continues to develop, it will eventually be more useful in solving the problems of Iron Age chronology.
But at present the use of this method for elucidating the problems of this period, in which the differences between the theories are so small, investment of this huge effort (hundreds of samples must be tested) does not contribute to our understanding of the chronological problems any more than the traditional cultural-historical methods, based on pottery chronology, etc.
In the following article, “Carbon 14—The Solution to Dating David and Solomon? Calibration procedures are complex and periodically revised as new information comes to light, skewing the radiocarbon dating accuracy.
” Lily Singer-Avitz attempts to answer these questions. And statistical models also vary from researcher to researcher.
But the absolute date after calibration depends on which calibration formula is used. This uncertainty ranges from 20 years (for high-precision dating) through intermediate values of 50–100 years, and in some cases up to 100–150 years. For interpreting the results, different statistical models are used by different researchers.
The results, depending on the calibration, can be quite different. Naturally, different statistical models for interpretation of the same data will produce different results. After processing the data with all these scientific tools, most archaeologists “improve” the given dates in accordance with broader archaeological and historical considerations.
But it is much more useful regarding broader archaeological periods.
The differences in the various dates for the transition from Iron I to Iron IIa are too small to be helped much by radiocarbon dating.
Furthermore, wooden beams were reused in later strata, which can result in even greater differences in date.Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article.Join Britannica's Publishing Partner Program and our community of experts to gain a global audience for your work!Since these “long-term” samples may introduce the “old wood” effect, any calculation of precise absolute dates based on “long-term” samples is unreliable and may easily lead to errors of up to several decades or even more.
For this reason, researchers prefer to use “short-life” samples, such as seeds, grain or olive pits. In many studies, particular radio-carbon dates are not considered valid because they do not match the majority of dated samples from the site in question. Faced with a date for Qeiyafa that confirms the traditional high Bible chronology, the low chronology “minimalists” now desperately argue that Qeiyafa was a Philistine fort tied to the kingdom of Gath, not a border fortress of the early Judahite state. There’s been a lot of debate around the issue of Bible chronology, which more specifically relates to the era of the reigns of David and Solomon.