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dendrologically calibrated radiocarbon dates?

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Jauchart View Drop Down
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    Posted: 01 Sep 2012 at 05:07
I just read the following text:

"Assuming a similar rate of spread to other parts of Europe, it would have reached the Aegean by around 3400 B.C. (2700 b.c.), and lberia by 3200 B.C. (2500 b.c.)."

A note explains:

"All dates quoted as B.C. are dendrologically calibrated radiocarbon dates, calculated from the MASCA scale. Dates quoted as b.c. (usually in brackets after each B.C. date) represent the original radio carbon determinations."

Which, if either, of these dates refer to the way most of us count time? Can someone explain what these mean?
Jauchart
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gcle2003 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Sep 2012 at 05:37
My understanding is that the distinction is not between different ways of 'counting time' but different ways of estimating how much time as commonly understood has elapsed. It's not the same that is as the different ways people count the number of days there are in a year. In both systems what is meant is the 365+1... standard Gregorian year. There's no conversion involved like that needed between Fahrenheit and Celsius.

Roughly speaking dendrochronological dating is based on the fact that tree trunks are made up of concentric 'rings', with one laid down each year, while radiocarbon dating is based on the level of radioactive C14 in an organic residue, given the known half-life of C14 and its level in a contemporary similar material. 

"Dendrochronologically calibrated radiocarbon dates, calculated from the MASCA scale" refers to radiocarbon dating that has been modified by taking into account tree-ring data according to a standard adjustment scale. The assumption is that this will make them more accurate, but the length of the year-unit is ujnchanged. 
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Jauchart View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jauchart Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Sep 2012 at 06:28
Thanks!
Jauchart
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