Uncertainty in Radiocarbon Dating: A Numerical Approach

Jamal Munshi

Sonoma State University

March 1, 2015

Conventional analytical solutions to the statistics of radiocarbon dating are hampered by distributional issues and assumptions of convenience. Fortunately, given rapid advances in computational machinery, numerical methods offer a simple and robust alternative. In this paper we use the radiocarbon age data presented by Finkelstein and Piasetzky (Finkelstein, 2010) to demonstrate a numerical method of generating sampling distributions of calibrated radiocarbon dates that is likely to provide greater precision and utility to archeologists.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 19

Keywords: radiocarbon dating, archaeometry, archaeology, levant, bronze age, iron age, biblical archaeology, Israel Finkelstein, Amir Aczel, numerical methods, bootstrap, Monte Carlo simulation, computational statistics

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Date posted: March 4, 2015 ; Last revised: March 19, 2015

Suggested Citation

Munshi, Jamal, Uncertainty in Radiocarbon Dating: A Numerical Approach (March 1, 2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2572966 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2572966

Contact Information

Jamal Munshi (Contact Author)
Sonoma State University ( email )
1801 East Cotati Avenue
Rohnert Park, CA 94928
United States
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