Given the non-monotonic form of the radiocarbon calibration curve, the precision of single C-14 dates on the calendar timescale will always be limited.One way around this limitation is through comparison of time-series, which should exhibit the same irregular patterning as the calibration curve.This approach can be employed most directly in the case of wood samples with many years growth present (but not able to be dated by dendrochronology), where the tree-ring series of unknown date can be compared against the similarly constructed C-14 calibration curve built from known-age wood.

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We also look at 3 case studies: one a piece of wood which has been independently dendrochronologically dated, and two others of unknown age relating to archaeological activity at Silchester, UK (Roman) and Miletos, Anatolia (relating to the volcanic eruption at Thera).

The problem of insufficient age-control limits the utilisation of the 8.2 ka BP event for modelling freshwater forcing in climate change studies.

High-resolution radiocarbon dates, magnetic susceptibility and lithostratigraphic evidence from a lake sediment core from Nedre Hervavatnet located at Sygnefjell in western Norway provide a record of the early Holocene.

We use the method of radiocarbon wiggle-match dating of the lake sediments using the non-linear relationship between the C calibration curve and the consecutive accumulation order of the sample series in order to build a high-resolution age-model.

The timing and duration of Holocene environmental changes is estimated using 38 AMS radiocarbon dates on terrestrial macrofossils, insects and chironomids covering the time period from 9750 to 1180 cal BP.

Chironomids, leaves produce the most consistent results.

Sedimentological and physical properties of the core suggest that three meltwater events with high sedimentation rates are superimposed on a long-term trend with glacier retreat between 97 cal BP.

The lake sediment sequence of Nedre Hervavatnet demonstrates the following: only a reliable high-resolution geochronology based on carefully selected terrestrial macrofossils allows the reconstruction of a more refined and complex environmental change history before and during the 8.2 ka event.

The method has both advantages and limitations vis-a-vis the calibration of individual dates.