The Beginnings of Radiocarbon Dating in American Antiquity: A Historical Perspective

  title={The Beginnings of Radiocarbon Dating in American Antiquity: A Historical Perspective},
  author={R. E. Taylor},
  journal={American Antiquity},
  pages={309 - 325}
Few archaeologists would dispute the suggestion that the introduction of 14C dating into archaeological research has had a profound influence on the way in which prehistoric studies are conducted. Glyn Daniel, for example, has gone so far as to rank the development of the 14C method in the twentieth-century with the discovery of the antiquity of the human species in the nineteenth-century (Daniel 1967:266). Despite the widespread acknowledgment of the significant role played by the 14C method… 

Chronometers and Units in Early Archaeology and Paleontology

The principle of overlapping permitted building sequences of fossils and artifacts, but differences in the units that allowed the chronometers to be operationalized reveal significant epistemological variation in how historical research is undertaken, of considerable interest to paleobiologists and archaeologists alike.

The Evolution of Paleoindian Geochronology and Typology on the Great Plains

The Great Plains contain many of the best-known Paleoindian sites in North America, and a number of these localities were key to determining the chronology of Paleoindian occupations in the years

The quest for an absolute chronology in human prehistory: anthropologists, chemists and the fluorine dating method in palaeoanthropology

  • M. GoodrumCora Olson
  • Environmental Science, Geography
    The British Journal for the History of Science
  • 2009
The invention of the fluorine dating method marked a significant advance in the quest for absolute dating in palaeoanthropology, but it also highlights interesting problems and issues relating to the ability of palaeuanthropologists and chemists to bring together different skills and bodies of knowledge in order successfully to develop and apply the fluoride dating method.

Contemplating the history and future of radiocarbon dating in the American Southeast

ABSTRACT We consider the history, present, and future of radiocarbon dating in the American Southeast. We point out some of the past and present flaws related to archaeological research and dating.

A History of Archaeological Thought

List of illustrations Preface 1. The relevance of archaeological history 2. Classical archaeology and antiquarianism 3. The beginnings of scientific archaeology 4. The imperial synthesis 5.

The Systematic Use of Radiocarbon Dating in Archaeological Surveys in Coastal and Other Erosional Environments

Traditionally, archaeologists have used l4C dating primarily as a postexcavation analytical tool to establish the age of features, strata, or assemblages. In coastal zones and other environments

The Early Radiocarbon Years: Personal Reflections

In 1949, Harrison Brown arranged an invitation for me to spend a limited time at the Institute for Nuclear Studies at the University of Chicago. I considered myself most fortunate to be invited to

Comparison of fluoride and direct AMS radiocarbon dating of black bear bone from Lawson Cave, Missouri

Abstract After a 20-year hiatus (1955–1975) during which few archaeologists discussed fluoride dating, the method again received attention in the 1980s and 1990s when some argued for its validity. As

Impacts of Climatic Variabiity and Population Growth on Virgin Branch Anasazi Cultural Developments

Two major drought episodes, A.D. 1000 to 1015 and A.D. 1120 to 1150, contributed to significant change in adaptive strategies of the Virgin Branch Anasazi, a prehistoric population that occupied the



Radiocarbon Dating: An Archaeological Perspective

A model describing the production, distribution, and decay of 14>sC led to a proposal that the 14>sC content of an organic sample could be used as an index of age. Willard F. Libby conducted the

W F Libby and the Archaeologists, 1946-1948

Archaeologists began to participate in cross-disciplinary endeavors in the 1930's, albeit on a very limited basis. The passage of time found members of that discipline unprepared for collaboration

An Outline of Early Man Studies in the United States

Abstract Fluctuating modes of thought concerning the origins of the American Indians are traced from the time of the Spanish Conquest to the present. Early Man studies are related to the broader

Radiocarbon Contamination

Before rushing into a revision of archaeological chronologies based upon the dates recently published in Memoir 8 of the Society for American Archaeology, the possibilities for the contamination of

An Old World View of New World Prehistory

Abstract A review of problems in American archaeology is organized around the Lithic, Archaic, Formative, Classic, and Postclassic stages of Willey and Phillips. Among the problems raised and

Archaeology and Radiocarbon Dating

Tonight I have the opportunity to thank my many archaeological collaborators in the early days of radiocarbon dating. The development would not have been possible without their wonderful cooperation.

7 – Independent Dating in Archaeological Analysis

Method and theory in American archaeology

In 1958 Gordon R. Willey and Philip Phillips first published Method and Theory in American Archaeology - a volume that went through five printings, the last in 1967 at the height of what became known

Problems in Radiocarbon Dating at Teotihuacan

  • A. Kovar
  • Environmental Science
    American Antiquity
  • 1966
Abstract Radiocarbon dating is a useful tool in archaeological research, but the precision hoped for by some is not attainable because of the nature of the radiocarbon assay itself, possible

Toward an integrated, contextual approach in archaeology: a personal view