Skip to main content

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

  • R. E. Taylor (a1)

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 in contemporary archaeological investigations, no comprehensive, critical, historical review of the specific intellectual history and substantive characteristics of this impact, particularly in American archaeology, has been published.

Hide All
Abel, L. 1953 Radiocarbon Dates—A Suggestion. American Antiquity 19 : 158.
Anderson, E. C. 1949 Natural Radiocarbon. Unpublished Ph. D. dissertation, University of Chicago.
Anderson, E. C, Levi, H., and Tauber, H. 1953 Copenhagen Natural Radiocarbon Measurements, I. Science 118 : 69.
Anderson, E. C, Libby, W. F., Weinhouse, S., Reid, A. F., Kirschenbaum, A. D., and Grosse, A. V. 1947a Radiocarbon from Cosmic Radiation. Science 105 : 576.
Anderson, E. C, Libby, W. F., Weinhouse, S., Reid, A. F., Kirschenbaum, A. D., and Grosse, A. V. 1947b Natural Radiocarbon from Cosmic Radiation. Physical Review 72 : 931936.
Andrews, E. W., V. 1978 Endnote : The Northern May Lowlands Sequence. In Chronologies in New World Archaeology, edited by Taylor, R. E. and Meighan, C. W., pp. 377381. Academic Press, New York.
Arnold, J. R. 1954 Scintillation Counting of Natural Radiocarbon : I, The Counting Method. Science 119 : 155157.
Arnold, J. R., and Libby, W. F. 1949 Age Determinations by Radiocarbon Content : Checks with Samples of Known Age. Science 110 : 678680.
Arnold, J. R., and Libby, W. F. 1950. Radiocarbon Dates (September 1, 1950). The University of Chicago, Institute for Nuclear Studies.
Arnold, J. R., and Libby, W. F. 1951 Radiocarbon Dates. Science 113 : 111120.
Arundale, W. H. 1981 Radiocarbon Dating in Eastern Arctic Archeology : A Flexible Approach. American Antiquity 46 : 244271.
Binford, L. R. 1972 An Archaeological Perspective. Seminar Press, New York.
Bird, J. B. 1961 B. P. : Before Present, or Bad Policy? American Antiquity 26 : 557558.
Bliss, W. L. 1952 Radiocarbon Contamination. American Antiquity 17 : 250251.
Braidwood, R. J., Jacobsen, T., Parker, R. A., and Weinberg, S. 1951 Radiocarbon Dates and Their Implications in the Near and Middle Eastern Areas. In Radiocarbon Dating, Memoirs of Society for American Archaeology 8 : 165. [American Antiquity 17, No. 1, part 2.
Broecker, W. S. and Kulp, J. L. 1956 The Radiocarbon Method of Age Determination. American Antiquity 22 : 111.
Bushnell, G. 1961 An Old World View of New World Prehistory. American Antiquity 27 : 6370.
Butzer, K. W. 1978 Toward an Integrated, Contextual Approach in Archaeology : A Personal View. Journal of Archaeological Science 5 : 191194.
Damon, P. E., Ferguson, C. W., Long, A., and Wallick, E. I. 1974 Dendrochronologic Calibration of the Radiocarbon Time Scale. American Antiquity 39 : 350366.
Daniel, G. 1967 The Origins and Growth of Archaeology. Crowell, New York.
Dean, J. S. 1978 Independent Dating in Archaeological Analysis. In Advances in Archaeological Method and Theory, edited by Schiffer, M. B., pp. 223265. Academic Press, New York.
Deevey, E. S., Gross, M. A., Hutchison, G. E., and Kraybill, H. L. 1954 The Natural C14 Contents of Materials from Hard-water Lakes. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 40 : 285288. U. S. A.
Deevey, E. S., Flint, R. F., and Rouse, I. (editors) 1967 Radiocarbon Measurements : Comprehensive Index, 1950-1965. Yale University, New Haven.
Dincauze, D. F. 1984 Report of the Fryxell Award Committee to the SAA Annual Meeting—1984. Bulletin of the Society for American Archaeology 2 : 12.
Dodds, John W. 1973 The Several Lives of Paul Fejos. The Wenner-Gren Foundation, New York.
Engelkemeir, A. G., Hamill, W. H., Inghram, M. G., and Libby, W. F. 1947 The Half-Life of Radiocarbon (C14). Physical Review 75 : 18251833.
Gittins, G. O. 1984 Radiocarbon Chronometry and Archaeological Thought. Unpublished Ph. D. dissertation, University of California, Los Angeles.
Godwin, H. 1962 Half-life of Radiocarbon. Nature 195 : 984.
Griffin, J. B. 1949 C14 Dates. American Antiquity 15 : 80.
Johnson, F. 1942 The Boylston Street Fishweir. Papers of the Robert S. Peabody Foundation for Archaeology 2 : 1211.
Johnson, F. 1949 The Boylston Street Fishweir II. Papers of the Robert S. Peabody Foundation for Archaeology 4 : 1133.
Johnson, F. 1951 Introduction. In Radiocarbon Dating, Memoirs of the Society for American Archaeology 8 : 13. [American Antiquity 17, No. 1, part 2.
Johnson, F. 1952 The Significance of the Dates for Archeology and Geology. In Radiocarbon Dating, by Libby, W. F., pp. 97111. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.
Johnson, F., Arnold, J. R., and Flint, R. F. 1957 Radiocarbon Dating. Science 125 : 240242.
Kamen, M. D. 1963 Early History of Carbon-14. Science 140 : 584590.
Korff, S. A. 1940 On the Contribution to the Ionization at Sea-level Produced by the Neutrons in the Cosmic Radiation. Terrestrial Magnetism and Atmospheric Electricity 45 : 133134.
Korff, S. A., and Danforth, W. E. 1939 Neutron Measurements with Boron-Trifluoride Counters. Physical Review 55 : 980.
Kovar, A. J. 1966 Problems in Radiocarbon Dating at Teotihuacan. American Antiquity 31 : 427430.
Kulp, J. L. 1952 The Carbon 14 Method of Age Determination. The Scientific Monthly 75 : 259267.
Kulp, J. L. 1954 Review of Radiocarbon Dating , by Libby, W. F.. American Antiquity 20 : 88.
Kulp, J. L., Feely, H. W., and Tryon, L. E. 1951 Lamont Natural Radiocarbon Measurements, I. Science 114 : 565568.
Kurie, F. N. D. 1934 A New Mode of Disintegration Induced by Neutrons. Physical Review 45 : 904905.
Kurie, F. N. D. n. d. The Isotope People. Unpublished book manuscript.
Libby, W. F. 1933 Radioactivity of Ordinary Elements, Especially Samarium and Neodymium : Method of Detection. Unpublished Ph. D. dissertation. University of California, Berkeley.
Libby, W. F. 1946 Atmospheric Helium Three and Radiocarbon from Cosmic Radiation. Physical Review 69 : 671672.
Libby, W. F. 1951 Radiocarbon Dates, II. Science 114 : 291296.
Libby, W. F. 1952a Radiocarbon Dating. The University of Chicago Press, Chicago.
Libby, W. F. 1952b Chicago Radiocarbon Dates, III. Science 116 : 673681.
Libby, W. F. 1954a Chicago Radiocarbon Dates, IV. Science 119 : 135140.
Libby, W. F. 1954b Chicago Radiocarbon Dates, V. Science 120 : 733742.
Libby, W. F. 1955 Radiocarbon Dating. 2nd ed. The University of Chicago Press, Chicago.
Libby, W. F. 1961a Radiocarbon Dating. Nobel Lecture, December 12, 1960. Les Prix Nobel En 1960, pp. 95112. Nobel Foundation, Stockholm.
Libby, W. F. 1961b Radiocarbon Dating. Science 133 : 621629.
Libby, W. F. 1964 Berkeley Radiochemistry. Annual Review of Physical Chemistry 15 : 712.
Libby, W. F. 1965 Natural Radiocarbon and Tritium in Retrospect and Prospect. In Proceedings of the Sixth International Conference Radiocarbon and Tritium Dating, pp. 745751, compiled by Chatters, R. M. and Olson, E. A.. Clearinghouse for Federal Scientific and Technical Information, Springfield, Virginia.
Libby, W. F. 1967 History of Radiocarbon Dating. In Radioactive Dating and Methods of Low Level Counting, pp. 325. International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna.
Libby, W. F. 1970 Radiocarbon Dating. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London 269A : 110.
Libby, W. F. 1980 Archaeology and Radiocarbon Dating. Radiocarbon 22 : 10171020.
Libby, W. F., Anderson, E. C., and Arnold, J. R. 1949 Age Determination by Radiocarbon Content : World-wide Assay of Natural Radiocarbons. Science 109 : 227228.
Long, A., and Rippeteau, B. 1974 Testing Contemporaneity and Averaging Radiocarbon Dates. American Antiquity 39 : 205215.
Marlowe, G. 1980 W. F. Libby and the Archaeologists, 1946-1948. Radiocarbon 22 : 10051014.
Matson, F. B. 1955 Charcoal Concentration from Early Sites for Radiocarbon Dating. American Antiquity 21 : 162169.
Merrill, R. S. 1947 A Progress Report on the Dating of Archaeological Sites by Means of Radioactive Elements. Duplicated Report. October 20, 1947.
Merrill, R. S. 1948 Progress Report on the Dating of Archaeological Sites by Means of Radioactive Elements. American Antiquity 13 : 281286.
Montgomery, C. G., and Montgomery, D. D. 1939 The Intensity of Neutrons of Thermal Energy in the Atmosphere at Sea Level. Physical Review 56 : 1012.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

American Antiquity
  • ISSN: 0002-7316
  • EISSN: 2325-5064
  • URL: /core/journals/american-antiquity
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *

Related content

Powered by UNSILO


Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed