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 variability.

If you require help constructing age-models for your site(s), we can offer advice. Please contact Maarten Blaauw at m.blaauw@qub.ac.uk to discuss options.

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