Uncertainty in Radiocarbon Dating: A Numerical Approach
19 Pages Posted: 4 Mar 2015 Last revised: 27 May 2017
Date Written: 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 archaeologists.
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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