Outline some limitations in using radiocarbon dating
Legacy radiocarbon ages must be critically examined for what method was used to generate the age, and calibration radiocarbon ages from critical periods of African prehistory lack precision to resolve significant debates.
A multipronged dating strategy and careful selection of radiocarbon sample materials are advocated from the earliest stages of research design. Cette revue fournit les archéologues africanistes avec des appréciations et des mises en garde sur l’utilisation des âges radiocarbone.
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 .
Les âges radiocarbone basés sur des données anciennes doivent être rigoureusement examinés pour en déduire la méthode employée dans la détermination d’âge.
Accuracy refers to how close the assessed age of a sample is to the true age.
Precision refers to the statistical uncertainty associated with an age estimate—the greater the precision, the less uncertainty there is in the assessed age.
External effects such as p H, temperature, and the microbial environment can amplify diagenesis while internal factors such as the crystal size, porosity, and solubility of the material also play a role (Zazzo and Saliège C ratio presumed in radiocarbon dating.
Diagenesis can be initiated during burial, excavation, transport, or curation of an artifact, and so it is a problem that must be considered by archaeologists intending to use radiocarbon as a dating tool.