Second, radiocarbon years are not the same as sidereal (calendar) years; thus, radiocarbon ages must be “calibrated” to bring them into a standard time frame.
With well-established calibration data sets (e.g., ), the procedure is straightforward, but calculated 1-sigma and 2-sigma calibrated age ranges commonly are larger than the corresponding radiocarbon age ranges.
Radiocarbon dating is a widely applied absolute dating method in archeology.
It is based on the knowledge that living organisms build up their own organic matter by photosynthesis or by using atmospheric carbon dioxide.
Each of these methods is explained in this section.
Absolute dating techniques attempt to pinpoint a discrete, known interval in time such as a day, year, century, or millennia.
Very few artifacts recovered from an archeological site can be absolutely dated.
Unfortunately, such occurrences are extremely rare. All fossil plant material and bones entombed in landslide deposits are “detrital,” that is, they have been transported to their depositional positions.
As such, there is no certainty that the organism was killed by the landslide, which is the conceptual assumption many researchers make when interpreting radiocarbon ages on such fossils.