Example: wood found in a grave of known age by historically reliable documents is the standard for that time for the C14 content.
Climate records from a Japanese lake are set to improve the accuracy of the dating technique, which could help to shed light on archaeological mysteries such as why Neanderthals became extinct.
But even he “realized that there probably would be variation”, says Christopher Bronk Ramsey, a geochronologist at the University of Oxford, UK, who led the latest work, published today in Science.
Various geologic, atmospheric and solar processes can influence atmospheric carbon-14 levels.
Despite this she continually uses the c14 dates to create 'absolute' chronologies.
She says this is ok so long as you take into account the correction factors from dendrochronology.