The next step after obtaining your radiocarbon dates is often that of
interpreting them; of putting your site into a chronological framework.
This does not only involve calibration of your dates. In many cases
additional information can be included in order to constrain your ages,
for example imposing stratigraphical ordering of dated levels in an
archaeological or palaeoenvironmental site.
Over the past decades several software packages have been developed
dedicated to age-modelling. For example,
clam (Blaauw 2010) uses basic statistical
models such as linear interpolation and smooth splines to draw age-depth
curves through dated depths, taking into account dating uncertainties
through random sampling of the dates. Bayesian age-models such as Bacon use more sophisticated approaches to
constrain the models, including limits on accumulation rate and its
If you require help constructing age-models for your site(s), we can
offer advice. Please contact Maarten Blaauw at
firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss options.
- Blaauw, M., 2010. Methods and code for 'classical' age-modelling of
radiocarbon sequences. Quaternary Geochronology 5, 512-518
- Blaauw, M., Christen, J.A., 2011. Flexible paleoclimate age-depth models
using an autoregressive gamma process. Bayesian Analysis 6, 457-474