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A 23-year retrospective blind check of accuracy of the Copenhagen radiocarbon dating system.

Kaare L Rasmussen, Henrik Tauber, Niels Bonde, Kjeld Christensen, Pall Theodorsson


A 23-yr record of the measuring accuracy of the Copenhagen radiocarbon dating laboratory has retrospectively been provided through a true blind test. A total of 92 samples of oak from old tree trunks were dated in the period 1971 to 1993 and their dendrochronological age determined independently. The (super 14) C activity of the dendrochronological samples measured in the Copenhagen radiocarbon laboratory was compared to the activity of the tree rings of the same age measured by Stuiver and Pearson (1993) for calibration purposes. The average difference was found to be 54+ or -72 (super 14) C yr. The results further indicate that the actual standard deviation is only 7% higher than that quoted by the laboratory. The investigation has shown a long-term stability of laboratory accuracy with no systematic laboratory variations either with respect to sample age or to the time of measurement from 1971 to 1993.


Carbon 14 Dating Laboratory;Denmark;Copenhagen Denmark;calibration;statistical analysis;accuracy;interlaboratory comparison;tree rings;isotope ratios;Europe;Western Europe;Scandinavia;methods;C 14;carbon;isotopes;radioactive isotopes;C 13 C 12;stable isotopes;absolute age

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