Radiocarbon Dating

For those of you interested in radiocarbon dating, I’d like to draw your attention to an article that reports a significant milestone in the calibration curves for C-14 dating. The international working group INTCAL, which compiles the accepted calibration curve, has now extended the calibration curve from 26,000 years to 50,000 years, a major accomplishment. The significance of this announcement is that many discoveries in that time frame can now be dated with more confidence, such as early cave art.

From a personal perspective, I’m proud to say that the team leader, Paula Reimer, is married to a good friend of mine from my home town. I haven’t seen him for four decades but I always enjoy hearing from him and about their work in radiocarbon dating.


4 comments to Radiocarbon Dating

  • Mervin Bitikofer

    Is that Paula and Ron who used to be in Seattle? If they are the same, then I think I remember helping you get connected with their email a couple years ago, but I haven’t kept up at all with their doings other than to hear they were working in a carbon-dating lab.


  • Randy Isaac

    Yes, Merv, I think Ron’s your relative, right?

  • Mervin Bitikofer

    A first cousin, I believe. (I have a lot of first cousins on both sides –most of them older than I am.) If Ron remembered me at all it might be as “that bratty kid” at some family reunion a long time ago. Although, we did visit them in Seattle when I was newly married almost 20 years ago.

    Is there a web site where Paula’s work or her team’s work is publicly accessible? I am interested in how the range of verified radiometric dating is lately being extended since this is of interest for ‘young-earth’ conversations.


  • Mervin Bitikofer

    Ah yes! Silly me –you had already provided a link to an article I hadn’t even tried yet. Thanks.

    I wonder if the INTCAL team’s work has ramifications for AGW and the related questions of atmospheric carbon cycles? If C-14 levels are considered independently of general atmospheric carbon levels, then radiocarbon dating interests (as I understand them) may not intersect all that much with AGW research.


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