Carbon dating zooarchaeology
“It is another sobering example of cocked-up dates,” says Higham, whose laboratory is leading a revolution in radiocarbon dating.
By developing techniques that strip ancient samples of impurities, he and his team have established more accurate ages for the remains from dozens of archaeological sites.
In order to assess the relative cultural importance of fishing to Neolithic populations, multiple classes of grave goods and radiocarbon dates from the Shamanka II cemetery are analyzed for principal components.
Specific relationships between prestige goods, fishing gear, and functional axes are hypothesized to exist if fishing are an important socioeconomic activity.
He concluded that they belonged to a Roman-era witch or prostitute.
“He did a good job of excavating, but he interpreted it totally wrong,” says Tom Higham, a 46-year-old archaeological scientist at the University of Oxford's Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit.
Then, in the twentieth century, carbon dating found the bones to be about 22,000 years old — even though much of Britain was encased in ice and seemingly uninhabitable for part of that time.
This variation is caused by both natural processes and human activity.
Despite being surrounded by aquatic resources, the Prehistoric populations of the North Atlantic Islands have a complex history of aquatic resource that until now has been little understood.