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The radiocarbon (14C) calibration curve so far contains annually resolved data only for a short period of time. With accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) matching the precision of decay counting, it is now possible to efficiently produce large datasets of annual resolution for calibration purposes using small amounts of wood. The radiocarbon intercomparison on single-year tree-ring samples presented here is the first to investigate specifically possible offsets between AMS laboratories at high precision. The results show that AMS laboratories are capable of measuring samples of Holocene age with an accuracy and precision that is comparable or even goes beyond what is possible with decay counting, even though they require a thousand times less wood. It also shows that not all AMS laboratories always produce results that are consistent with their stated uncertainties. The long-term benefits of studies of this kind are more accurate radiocarbon measurements with, in the future, better quantified uncertainties.
The concentration of radiocarbon (14C) differs between ocean and atmosphere. Radiocarbon determinations from samples which obtained their 14C in the marine environment therefore need a marine-specific calibration curve and cannot be calibrated directly against the atmospheric-based IntCal20 curve. This paper presents Marine20, an update to the internationally agreed marine radiocarbon age calibration curve that provides a non-polar global-average marine record of radiocarbon from 0–55 cal kBP and serves as a baseline for regional oceanic variation. Marine20 is intended for calibration of marine radiocarbon samples from non-polar regions; it is not suitable for calibration in polar regions where variability in sea ice extent, ocean upwelling and air-sea gas exchange may have caused larger changes to concentrations of marine radiocarbon. The Marine20 curve is based upon 500 simulations with an ocean/atmosphere/biosphere box-model of the global carbon cycle that has been forced by posterior realizations of our Northern Hemispheric atmospheric IntCal20 14C curve and reconstructed changes in CO2 obtained from ice core data. These forcings enable us to incorporate carbon cycle dynamics and temporal changes in the atmospheric 14C level. The box-model simulations of the global-average marine radiocarbon reservoir age are similar to those of a more complex three-dimensional ocean general circulation model. However, simplicity and speed of the box model allow us to use a Monte Carlo approach to rigorously propagate the uncertainty in both the historic concentration of atmospheric 14C and other key parameters of the carbon cycle through to our final Marine20 calibration curve. This robust propagation of uncertainty is fundamental to providing reliable precision for the radiocarbon age calibration of marine based samples. We make a first step towards deconvolving the contributions of different processes to the total uncertainty; discuss the main differences of Marine20 from the previous age calibration curve Marine13; and identify the limitations of our approach together with key areas for further work. The updated values for ΔR, the regional marine radiocarbon reservoir age corrections required to calibrate against Marine20, can be found at the data base http://calib.org/marine/.
The curves recommended for calibrating radiocarbon (14C) dates into absolute dates have been updated. For calibrating atmospheric samples from the Northern Hemisphere, the new curve is called IntCal20. This is accompanied by associated curves SHCal20 for the Southern Hemisphere, and Marine20 for marine samples. In this “companion article” we discuss advances and developments that have led to improvements in the updated curves and highlight some issues of relevance for the general readership. In particular the dendrochronological based part of the curve has seen a significant increase in data, with single-year resolution for certain time ranges, extending back to 13,910 calBP. Beyond the tree rings, the new curve is based upon an updated combination of marine corals, speleothems, macrofossils, and varved sediments and now reaches back to 55,000 calBP. Alongside these data advances, we have developed a new, bespoke statistical curve construction methodology to allow better incorporation of the diverse constituent records and produce a more robust curve with uncertainties. Combined, these data and methodological advances offer the potential for significant new insight into our past. We discuss some implications for the user, such as the dating of the Santorini eruption and also some consequences of the new curve for Paleolithic archaeology.
The Working Party has developed some practical hints and tips for those developing integrated risk management (IRM) plans for UK defined benefit pension schemes in the context of the requirements of the Pensions Regulator. Four case studies are presented to illustrate its conclusions, which are encapsulated in the ten commandments for effective IRM. IRM is the consideration of investment, funding and covenant issues, and how these interact. Its purpose should be to aid decision making and so should have a clear outcome in mind. It should be a continuous process and should form part of everyday trustee governance – it is not simply a one-off exercise. Whilst most Trustees and advisors consider funding issues when setting their investment strategy and vice versa, fewer fully integrate covenant into their decision-making process. However, covenant underpins all risk taken in a pension scheme and so needs to form a regular part of trustee discussions and analysis by advisors.
This book presents a wide range of new research on many aspects of naval strategy in the early modern and modern periods. Among the themes covered are the problems of naval manpower, the nature of naval leadership and naval officers, intelligence, naval training and education, and strategic thinking and planning. The book is notable for giving extensive consideration to navies other than those ofBritain, its empire and the United States. It explores a number of fascinating subjects including how financial difficulties frustrated the attempts by Louis XIV's ministers to build a strong navy; how the absence of centralised power in the Dutch Republic had important consequences for Dutch naval power; how Hitler's relationship with his admirals severely affected German naval strategy during the Second World War; and many more besides. The book is a Festschrift in honour of John B. Hattendorf, for more than thirty years Ernest J. King Professor of Maritime History at the US Naval War College and an influential figure in naval affairs worldwide.
N.A.M. Rodger is Senior Research Fellow at All Souls College, Oxford.
J. Ross Dancy is Assistant Professor of Military History at Sam Houston State University.
Benjamin Darnell is a D.Phil. candidate at New College, Oxford.
Evan Wilson is Caird Senior Research Fellow at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich.
Contributors: Tim Benbow, Peter John Brobst, Jaap R. Bruijn, Olivier Chaline, J. Ross Dancy, Benjamin Darnell, James Goldrick, Agustín Guimerá, Paul Kennedy, Keizo Kitagawa, Roger Knight, Andrew D. Lambert, George C. Peden, Carla Rahn Phillips, Werner Rahn, Paul M. Ramsey, Duncan Redford, N.A.M. Rodger, Jakob Seerup, Matthew S. Seligmann, Geoffrey Till, Evan Wilson
The Chauvet-Pont d'Arc Cave is one of the most important sites for the study of the earliest manifestations and development of prehistoric art at the beginning of the Upper Paleolithic. Different dating techniques have been performed thus far (AMS 14C, U/Th TIMS, 36Cl dating) to model the chronological framework of this decorated cave. The cave yielded several large charcoal fragments, which enabled the opportunity for obtaining multiple dates; thus, a First Radiocarbon Intercomparison Program (FIP) was initiated in 2004 using three charcoal pieces. The FIP demonstrated that those cross-dated samples belonged to a time period associated with the first human occupation. One of the statistical interests of an intercomparison program is to reduce the uncertainty on the sample age; thus, to further assess the accuracy of the chronological framework, the Second Intercomparison Program (SIP) involving 10 international 14C laboratories was carried out on two pieces of charcoal found inside two hearth structures of the Galerie des Mégacéros. Each laboratory used its own pretreatment and AMS facilities. In total, 21 and 22 measurements were performed, respectively, which yielded consistent results averaging ∼32 ka BP. Two strategies have currently been developed to identify statistical outliers and to deal with them; both lead to quasi-identical calibrated combined densities. Finally, the new results were compared with those of the FIP, leading to the important conclusion that five different samples from at least three different hearth structures give really tightened temporal densities, associated with one short human occupation in the Galerie des Mégacéros.
Surveying and declaring disease freedom in wildlife is difficult because information on population size and spatial distribution is often inadequate. We describe and demonstrate a novel spatial model of wildlife disease-surveillance data for predicting the probability of freedom of bovine tuberculosis (caused by Mycobacterium bovis) in New Zealand, in which the introduced brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula) is the primary wildlife reservoir. Using parameters governing home-range size, probability of capture, probability of infection and spatial relative risks of infection we employed survey data on reservoir hosts and spillover sentinels to make inference on the probability of eradication. Our analysis revealed high sensitivity of model predictions to parameter values, which demonstrated important differences in the information contained in survey data of host-reservoir and spillover-sentinel species. The modelling can increase cost efficiency by reducing the likelihood of prematurely declaring success due to insufficient control, and avoiding unnecessary costs due to excessive control and monitoring.
For the older part of the radiocarbon dating range, the IntCal13 curve provides the “state of the art” for terrestrial calibration based on all available data. It is constructed from different records, each of which by themselves could be used as a “comparison tool,” depending on the research objectives. This paper discusses the pros and cons of different approaches that can be taken when using 14C dates from this time range where the agreement amongst the underlying data sets is poorer than in other time periods. The discussion is illustrated with example calibrations against IntCa09, IntCal13, and comparisons to the Suigetsu record. The examples and discussion arc aimed at users of terrestrial 14C dates, in particular Upper Paleolithic archaeologists and those working with environmental terrestrial materials in the same time range.
The recording and analysis of a burnt mound and adjacent palaeochannel deposits on the floodplain of the River Soar in Leicestershire revealed that the burnt mound was in use, possibly for a number of different purposes, at the transition from the Neolithic to the Bronze Age. An extensive radiocarbon dating programme indicated that the site was revisited. Human remains from the palaeochannel comprised the remains of three individuals, two of whom pre-dated the burnt mound by several centuries while the partial remains of a third, dating from the Late Bronze Age, provided evidence that this individual had met a violent death. These finds, along with animal bones dating to the Iron Age, and the remains of a bridge from the early medieval period, suggest that people were drawn to this location over a long period of time.