Radiocarbon Variations in Consecutive Single Rings of a 4000-Year-Old Pine from the British Isles
CitationHewson, A. D., & Burleigh, R. (1980). Radiocarbon variations in consecutive single rings of a 4000-year-old pine from the British Isles. Radiocarbon, 22(2), 278-285.
PublisherAmerican Journal of Science
AbstractAt the Ninth International Radiocarbon Conference a paper was presented concerning possible short-term 14C variations in 4000-year-old red deer antlers (Genius elaphus) found in Neolithic flint mines in Norfolk, England (Burleigh and Hewson, 1980). It was argued, on archaeologic grounds, that the true age of the samples varied by a few years at most. Their radiocarbon ages, however, varied by a considerably greater amount than could be explained by the errors in the measurements. Duplication of the measurements confirmed this unexpected variation. Farmer and Baxter (1972) claimed a significant correlation of atmospheric 14C levels in the northern hemisphere with sunspot number based on radiocarbon assay of single tree rings for the period 1829 to 1865. In contrast, Stuiver (1978) stated that a series of single-year Douglas Fir measurements did not show a statistically significant periodicity. This paper reports measurements made on a series of single-year dendrochronologic samples of approximately the same age as the red deer antlers, which have been carried out at the British Museum Research Laboratory. The results show that the variation in 14C between rings is not statistically significant; some other explanation must be sought for the anomalous antler measurements.