More ways to date a Neanderthal?
This is useful information for archaeologists. Carbon Dating would be fantastic if the production of Carbon-13 were constant. It’s not. This means that archaeologists need samples of known date to calibrate their carbon dates. That’s possible when you have things like a historical record to match material against, but not so easy when you have no conscious recording of a date.
The usual answer has been to use trees. You can date tree samples from the pattern of yearly growth. The pattern of thick and thin growth rings acts a bit like a fingerprint for earlier periods which means you know the date of a sample to a year. You then carbon date the sample to calibrate your carbon dates. The problem is tree-ring data only goes back to the latest parts of of the Upper Palaeolithic.
This new data could push dating back as far as the Middle Palaeolithic and allow the dating of later Neanderthal material.
Reshared post from +Kristina Killgrove
Carbon Dating Gets a Reset: Scientific American
Climate records from a Japanese lake are providing a more accurate timeline for dating objects as far back as 50,000 years