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

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

Jamal Munshi (Contact Author)

Sonoma State University ( email )

1801 East Cotati Avenue
Rohnert Park, CA 94928
United States

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