Carbon 14 dating calibration

Because of this relatively short half-life, radiocarbon is useful for dating items of a relatively recent vintage, as far back as roughly 50,000 years before the present epoch.

Radiocarbon dating cannot be used for older specimens, because so little carbon-14 remains in samples that it cannot be reliably measured.

IOSACal reads calibration curves in the common format used also by other programs. While you could easily cite this website or the git repository, a DOI helps us get some recognition for creating and maintaining this software free for everyone.

Should you have calibration data in another format, it would be easy to either convert them to that format or modify the source code of IOSACal to adapt it to your needs.

But, as is clear even from the very brief discussion in the previous paragraph, radiocarbon dating can say nothing one way or the other about whether the earth is many millions of years old, since such dates are far beyond this method's range of resolution.

In order to determine what real-time age should be associated with a radiocarbon age, the radiocarbon data are often compared to historical and tree-ring data that are considered to be more reliable indicators of time.

Tree-ring data are especially important in the correction process for dates older than 1000 BC.

In a stratigraphical context objects closer to the surface are more recent in time relative to items deeper in the ground.

Although relative dating can work well in certain areas, several problems arise.