Question: How do you read radiocarbon dates?

Measurements of radiocarbon concentration are usually expressed in terms of a notional age, in numbers of years before 1950. For example, the radiocarbon result 1000±25BP indicates that the notional age is 1000 years with a standard uncertainty of 25 years.

What does BP mean in dating?

years before present The ages are expressed in years before present (BP) where present is defined as AD 1950.

What does Cal mean in dates?

The cal prefix indicates that the dates are the result of radiocarbon calibration using tree ring data. These values should correspond exactly to normal historical years BC and AD. The term cal BP means the number of years before 1950 and can be directly compared to calendar years.

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