Radiocarbon is the main international journal of record for research articles and date lists relevant to 14C and other radioisotopes and techniques used in archaeological, geophysical, oceanographic, and related dating.

This archive provides access to Radiocarbon Volumes 1-54 (1959-2012).

As of 2016, Radiocarbon is published by Cambridge University Press. The journal is published quarterly. Radiocarbon also publishes conference proceedings and monographs on topics related to fields of interest. Visit Cambridge Online for new Radiocarbon content and to submit manuscripts.

ISSN: 0033-8222


Contact the University Libraries Journal Team with questions.

Recent Submissions

  • Radiocarbon, Volume 44, Number 3 (2002)

    Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 2002-01-01
  • Quaternary Community Loses Glenn Goodfriend

    Brigham-Grette, Julie (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 2002-01-01)
  • From the Editor

    Jull, A. J. Timothy (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 2002-01-01)
  • Editorial Board

    Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 2002-01-01
  • The Radiocarbon Dating and Authentication of Iron Artifacts

    Craddock, P. T.; Wayman, M. L.; Jull, A. J. T. (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 2002-01-01)
    The continuing improvements in accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) dating technology mean that it is possible to work on ever smaller samples, which in turn, make an ever wider range of sample potentially available for dating. This paper discusses some of the difficulties arising with the interpretation of AMS dates obtained from carbon in iron. The overriding problem is that the carbon, now in chemical combination with the iron, could have come from a variety of sources with very different origins. These are now potentially an irresolvable mixture in the iron. For iron made over the last millennium, there are the additional problems associated with the use of both fossil fuel and biomass fuel in different stages of the iron making, leading to great confusion, especially with authenticity studies.
  • The Antiquity of the Prehistoric Settlement of the Central-South Brazilian Coast

    Lima, T. A.; Macario, K. D.; Anjos, R. M.; Gomes, P. S.; Coimbra, M. M.; Elmore, D. (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 2002-01-01)
    We discus here the prehistoric settlement of the central-south Brazilian coast, and, more specifically, 1 old radiocarbon date obtained for a coastal shellmound, as well as its implications concerning the chronology attributed to the settlement process. The accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) technique was used to determine the 14C age of charcoal from a shellmound on the southern coast of Rio de Janeiro. The resulting age was 7860 +/80 BP, an unexpected result that reinforces 2 similar previously obtained dates for the same region. Brazilian archaeologists, however, have questioned those 2 dates, because they would predate by some 2000 yr the antiquity consensually accepted for the settlement of the central-south Brazilian littoral.
  • The Antiquity of Pearl Shell (Pinctada sp.) Burial Artifacts in Palau, Western Micronesia

    Fitzpatrick, Scott Malthus; Boyle, Jenna E. (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 2002-01-01)
    Pearl shell was an important and highly valued resource for producing tools and ornaments in Oceania. One pearl shell artifact type that is quite rare in Micronesia, however, is the crescent-shaped scraper/grater. These artifacts have recently been found in 2 burial caves in Palau, Western Caroline Islands, suggesting they may have played important social and symbolic roles in society. The first direct accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) dating of this tool type, found in association with in-situ female burial at the Chelechol ra Orrak site, provides a date of AD 150-270, while associated dates range from 770 BC-AD 180. These dates help contextualize human burials and associated artifacts from one of the earliest and most diverse burial sites in Austronesia.
  • Stable Carbon Isotope Measurements on Hair from Wild Animals from Altiplanic Environments of Jujuy, Argentina

    Panarello, Héctor O.; Fernández, C., Jorge (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 2002-01-01)
    The use of stable carbon isotopes as dietary tracers is an application that is widening its scope within the fields of ecology and paleoecology. Although hair is potentially one of the most favorable animal tissues for isotopic measurement for dietary studies, this tissue is rarely included in research works. This may be due to the fact that many aspects related to hair tissue are not fully understood, especially in the case of wild animals whose diets consist of plants with contrasting 13C/12C ratios, their abundnace depending on seasonality. The present isotopic study of hair from animals inhabiting the Andes in northwestern Argentina, at heights ranging from 3500 to about 5000 m above sea level (asl) shows that 1) d13C values measured on hair from herbivores with a mixed and isotopically contrasting diet, and from their carnivorous predators, differ in their respective trophic levels, 2) in primary consumers, different types of hair from the same individual have different d13C values, whereas hair values are homogeneous in carnivores, and 3) some types of hair from rodents, such as whiskers, show d13C values similar to those of less metabolically active tissues such as bone collagen.
  • Preliminary Report of the First Workshop of the IntCal04 Radiocarbon Calibration/Comparison Working Group

    Reimer, Paula J.; Hughen, Konrad A.; Guilderson, Thomas P.; McCormac, Gerry; Baillie, Mike G. L.; Bard, Edouard; Barratt, Phillip; Beck, J. Warren; Buck, Caitlin E.; Damon, Paul E.; et al. (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 2002-01-01)
    The first meeting of the IntCal04 working group took place at Queen's University Belfast from April 15 to 17, 2002. The participants are listed as co-authors of this report. The meeting considered criteria for the acceptance of data into the next official calibration dataset, the importance of including reliable estimates of uncertainty in both the radiocarbon ages and the cal ages, and potential methods for combining datasets. This preliminary report summarizes the criteria that were discussed, but does not yet give specific recommendations for inclusion or exclusion of individual datasets.
  • On Correcting 14C Ages of Gastropod Shell Carbonate for Fractionation

    Pigati, Jeffrey S. (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 2002-01-01)
    Correcting the 14C age of a sample for fractionation is straightforward if the measured carbon was derived entirely from the atmosphere, either directly or through chemical and/or biological reactions that originated with atmospheric carbon. This correction is complicated in the case of gastropods that incorporate carbon from limestone or secondary carbonate (e.g. Soil carbonate) during shell formation. The carbon isotopic composition of such gastropod shells is determined by fractionation, as well as mixing of carbon from sources with different isotopic values. Only the component of shell carbonate derived from atmospheric carbon should be corrected for fractionation. In this paper, the author derives a new expression for correcting the measured 14C activity of gastropod shells for fractionation, and describe an iterative approach that allows the corrected 14C activity and the fraction of shell carbonate derived from atmospheric carbon to be determined simultaneously.
  • No Systematic Early Bias to Mediterranean 14C Ages: Radiocarbon Measurements from Tree-Ring and Air Samples Provide Tight Limits to Age Offsets

    Manning, Sturt W.; Barbetti, Mike; Kromer, Bernd; Kuniholm, Peter Ian; Levin, Ingeborg; Newton, Maryanne W.; Reimer, Paula J. (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 2002-01-01)
    Existing data and theory do not support a recent assertion that upwelling of old carbon has led to systematically 100-300 yr too old radiocarbon ages for the Mediterranean region. Similarly, the prehistoric tree-ring record produced over 3 decades by the Aegean Dendrochronology Project is shown to provide robust, well-replicated data, contrary to a recent unfounded assertion. 14C and dendrochronology provide an accurate and precise chronometric framework for the Mediterranean region.
  • New Radiocarbon Calibration Software

    Jones, Martin; Nicholls, Geoff (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 2002-01-01)
    We have developed a software utility, "DateLab", for conventional radiocarbon age (CRA) calibration and Bayesian analysis of CRAs. The current version has a smaller range of applicability than other similar utilities such as BCal, Oxcal, and Mexcal. However, it enables analysis of some common types of CRA datasets. The main advantages of DateLab are its high quality sampling algorithm, the possibility of carrying model comparison and hypothesis testing in a straightforward way, and the unbiased character of the summary statistics on which the analysis depends.
  • Natural Abundance of Carbon Isotopes (14C, 13C) in Lichens and Calcium Oxalate Pruina: Implications for Archaeological and Paleoenvironmental Studies

    Beazley, Melanie J.; Rickman, Richard D.; Ingram, Debra K.; Boutton, Thomas W.; Russ, Jon (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 2002-01-01)
    Radiocarbon ages of calcium oxalate that occurs naturally on rock surfaces have been used recently in archaeological and paleoenvironmental studies. Oxalate rock coatings are found globally, with most appearing to be residues from epilithic lichens. To explore the source(s) of carbon used by these organisms for the production of oxalate we measured the natural abundances of 14C and 13C in 5 oxalate-producing lichen species, 3 growing on limestone in southwestern Texas and 2 on sandstone in Arkansas. We also examined the distribution of the isotopes between the calcium oxalate and lichen tissues by separating these components and measuring the 13C/C independently. The results demonstrate that the limestone species were slightly enriched in 14C, by 1.7 per mil, relative to the sandstone species, which suggests that "dead" carbon from the limestone substrate does not constitute a significant source of carbon for the production of oxalate. The calcium oxalate produced by the lichens is also enriched in 13C by 6.5 per mil compared to the lichen tissues, demonstrating that there is a large carbon isotope discrimination during oxalate biosynthesis. These results support the reliability of 14C ages of calcium oxalate rock coatings used for archaeological and paleoclimate studies.
  • Marine Carbon Reservoir Age estimates for the Far Southern Coast of Peru

    Owen, Bruce D. (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 2002-01-01)
    In order to estimate the apparent age of seawater (R) and the corresponding local offset from the global marine radiocarbon calibration curve (Delta-R) on the far south coast of Peru for 2 periods in the past, 6 pairs of associated marine shell and unburned wood samples from archaeological excavations at Loreto Viejo were 14C dated. Three pairs from about cal AD 1280-1380 indicated larger and more variable Delta-R estimates than have been obtained for other periods in nearby regions, suggesting that Delta-R may vary considerably over space and/or time. Three pairs from about 1870-1680 cal BC yielded consistent shell dates, but only one reasonable terrestrial date and Delta-R estimate, probably due to stratigraphic mixing in antiquity. The one early Delta-R estimate falls slightly outside the range of the later ones, suggesting either still greater spatial variability in Delta-R, or some temporal variability.
  • High-Precision Radiocarbon Measurements of Contemporaneous Tree-Ring Data Wood from the British Isles and New Zealand: AD 1850-950

    Hogg, A. G.; McCormac, F. G.; Higham, T. F. G.; Reimer, P. J.; Baillie, M. L.; Palmer, J. G. (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 2002-01-01)
    The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand and the Queen's University of Belfast, Northern Ireland radiocarbon dating laboratories have undertaken a series of high-precision measurements on decadal samples of dendrochronologically dated oak (Quercus petraea) from Great Britain and cedar (Libocedrus bidwillii) and silver pine (Lagarostrobos colensoi) from New Zealand. The results show an average hemispheric offset over the 900 yr of measurement of 40 +/13 yr. This value is not constant but varies with a periodicity of about 130 yr. The Northern Hemisphere measurements confirm the validity of the Pearson et al. (1986) calibration dataset.
  • Calibration of the Radiocarbon Time Scale for the Southern Hemisphere: AD 1850-950

    McCormac, F. G.; Reimer, P. J.; Hogg, A. G.; Higham, T. F. G.; Baillie, M. L.; Palmer, J. G.; Stuiver, M. (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 2002-01-01)
    We have conducted a series of radiocarbon measurements on decadal samples of dendrochronologically dated wood from both hemispheres, spanning 1000 years (McCormac et al. 1998; Hogg et al. This issue). Using the data presented in Hogg et al., we show that during the period AD 950-1850 the 14C offset between the hemispheres is not constant, but varies periodically (approximately 130 yr periodicity) with amplitudes varying between 1 and 10 per mil (i.e. 8-80 yr), with a consequent effect on the 14C calibration of material from the Southern Hemisphere. A large increase in the offset occurs between AD 1245 and 1355. In this paper, we present a Southern Hemisphere high-precision calibration data set (SHCal02) that comprises measurements from New Zealand, Chile, and South Africa. This data, and a new value of 41 +/14 yr for correction of the IntCal98 data for the period outside the range given here, is proposed for use in calibrating Southern Hemisphere 14C dates.
  • 14C Dating of the 'Titulus Crucis'

    Bella, Francesco; Azzi, Carlo (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 2002-01-01)
    The authors study the radiocarbon dating of a relic believed to be the tablet that was placed on the cross of Jesus Christ at the time of his crucifixion.