Nearly a decade after Willard Libby’s initial work to develop this method, the half-life was revised from 5,568 to 5,730 years.
This meant that many calculated dates in papers published prior to this were incorrect.
So what we decided to do was to try and address these issues by a new programme of dating.
This is the radiocarbon accelerator in Oxford, where I work, and it’s a £2.5 million piece of kit that enables you to date really small pieces of bone, really small pieces of charcoal.
For consistency with these early papers and to avoid the risk of a double correction for the incorrect half-life, radiocarbon ages are still calculated using the incorrect half-life value of 5,568 years.