Conventional radiocarbon dating

The measurement time is much more rapid – you don’t have to sit around and wait for the carbon-14s to decay – and also the precision is better.

Well unfortunately, AMS dating is expensive because of the amount of equipment that’s involved and because the sample preparation is a lot more labour intensive.

Also shown are views of bone preparation at the Waikato Radiocarbon Dating Laboratory.Desmond Clark (1979:7) observed that without radiocarbon dating "we would still be foundering in a sea of imprecisions sometime bred of inspired guesswork but more often of imaginative speculation." And as Colin Renfrew (1973) aptly noted over 30 years ago, the "Radiocarbon Revolution" transformed how archaeologists could interpret the past and track cultural changes through a period in human history where we see among other things the massive migration of peoples settling virtually every major region of the world, the transition from hunting and gathering to more intensive forms of food production, and the rise of city-states.

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