Publications

New methods and critical aspects in bayesian mathematics for14C calibration

Author(s)
Peter Steier, Werner Rom, Stephan Puchegger
Abstract

The probabilistic radiocarbon calibration approach, which largely has replaced the intercept method in 14C dating, is based on the so-called Bayes' theorem (Bayes 1763). Besides single-sample calibration, Bayesian mathematics also supplies tools for combining 14C results of many samples with independent archaeological information such as typology or stratigraphy (Bucket al. 1996). However, specific assumptions in the "priorprobabilities", used to transform the archaeological information into mathematical probability distributions, may bias the results (Steier and Rom 2000). A general technique for guarding against such a bias is "sensitivity analysis", in which a range of possible prior probabilities is tested. Only results that prove robust in this analysis should be used. We demonstrate the impact of this method for an assumed, yet realistic case of stratigraphically ordered samples from the Hallstatt period, i.e. the Early Iron Age in Central Europe. Π2001 by the Arizona Board of Regents on behalf of the University of Arizona.

Organisation(s)
Dynamics of Condensed Systems
External organisation(s)
Universität Wien
Journal
Radiocarbon
Volume
43
Pages
373-380
No. of pages
8
ISSN
0033-8222
Publication date
2001
Peer reviewed
Yes
Austrian Fields of Science 2012
1030 Physics, Astronomy
Portal url
https://ucris.univie.ac.at/portal/en/publications/new-methods-and-critical-aspects-in-bayesian-mathematics-for14c-calibration(d961b8fe-fa8e-4293-a0a8-0da5c2a15633).html