We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to browse this repository, you give consent for essential cookies to be used. You can read more about our Privacy and Cookie Policy.

Durham Research Online
You are in:

Comment on article by Blackwell and Buck.

Millard, A.R. (2008) 'Comment on article by Blackwell and Buck.', Bayesian analysis., 3 (2). pp. 255-262.


Radiocarbon dating has come a long way since Willard Libby first conceived of the method (Libby et al. 1949; Arnold and Libby 1949) that was to earn him a Nobel Prize. Today we might consider Libby to be lucky that he could not detect the deviation from the expected radiocarbon decay curve. This was due to a combination of the imprecision of his measurements and his known age samples only spanning the last 5000 years. If Libby had been able to make more precise measurements the technique might never have been developed as the fundamental assumptions would have appeared to have been breached from the very start. Of course the deviation of radiocarbon content of known age samples from the expected values was discovered within a few years of Libby’s initial publications and radiocarbon calibration curves have been in development ever since. The latest version of the calibration curve is INTCAL04 (Reimer et al. 2004), and owes its mathematical formulation to Buck and Blackwell (2004, Buck et al. 2006), and future curves will depend on their elaboration and extension of that description in the paper under discussion here.

Item Type:Article
Full text:(VoR) Version of Record
Download PDF
Publisher Web site:
Date accepted:No date available
Date deposited:31 May 2011
Date of first online publication:June 2008
Date first made open access:No date available

Save or Share this output

Look up in GoogleScholar