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Refining the Hallstatt Plateau: Short-Term 14C Variability and Small Scale Offsets in 50 Consecutive Single Tree-Rings from Southwest Scotland Dendro-Dated to 510–460 BC

  • Piotr Jacobsson (a1), William Derek Hamilton (a1), Gordon Cook (a1), Anne Crone (a2), Elaine Dunbar (a1), Helen Kinch (a1), Philip Naysmith (a1), Brian Tripney (a1) and Sheng Xu (a1)...
Abstract
Abstract

Radiocarbon (14C) wiggle-match dating is a technique with a substantial potential to improve the precision of dating timbers in situations where dendrochronology is not tenable. However, one of the key reasons why obtaining a dendrochronological determination might be difficult is the short-lived nature of timbers on a range of archaeological sites, something that also affects the efficiency of the wiggle-match dating technique. Combined with the potential for high expense that the technique presents, it is paramount that wiggle-match dating research design has a good empirical basis. To this end we dated 50 consecutive, individual rings from a timber that grew during the Hallstatt radiocarbon calibration plateau (ca. 750–400 cal BC) in southwest Scotland. The results indicate that (1) the precision and accuracy of wiggle-match dates carried out on short-lived sequences during the Hallstatt plateau may suffer due to insufficient resolution of the calibration data, (2) sampling time-frames roughly equivalent to the underpinning calibration data are recommended (for the period in question this means decadal blocks), and (3) short-lived sequences are at risk of losing accuracy if the actual past trend of radiocarbon diverges from the mean of the radiocarbon calibration curve.

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      Refining the Hallstatt Plateau: Short-Term 14C Variability and Small Scale Offsets in 50 Consecutive Single Tree-Rings from Southwest Scotland Dendro-Dated to 510–460 BC
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      Refining the Hallstatt Plateau: Short-Term 14C Variability and Small Scale Offsets in 50 Consecutive Single Tree-Rings from Southwest Scotland Dendro-Dated to 510–460 BC
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Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is unaltered and is properly cited. The written permission of Cambridge University Press must be obtained for commercial re-use or in order to create a derivative work.
Corresponding author
*Corresponding author. Email: pt.jacobsson@gmail.com.
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Radiocarbon
  • ISSN: 0033-8222
  • EISSN: 1945-5755
  • URL: /core/journals/radiocarbon
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