Scholars now typically cite both raw, uncalibrated radiocarbon dates as years RCYBP (radiocarbon years before the present as 1950), alongside calibrated versions of those dates as cal BP, cal AD and cal BC (calibrated or calendar years BP, AD, and BC).
That probably seems excessive, but it will always be useful to have a stable starting point in the past to hook our dates on, despite the outmoded religious underpinnings of our modern, multiculturally-shared calendar.
It might not matter if a 100,000-year-old luminescence date was measured in 1990 or 2010.
But scholars still need a starting point, because, for a TL date of 500 years ago, even 50 years difference would be an important distinction. Current practice is to quote the age along with the date it was measured, but other options are being considered.
Radiocarbon dating was invented in the late 1940's, and within a few decades, it was discovered that while the dates retrieved from the method have a sound, repeatable progression, they are not a one-to-one match with calendar years.
Most importantly, researchers discovered that radiocarbon dates are affected by the amount of carbon in the atmosphere, which has fluctuated greatly in the past for both natural and human-caused reasons (such as the invention of iron smelting, the Industrial Revolution, and the invention of the combustion engine).
Unlike radiocarbon dates, TL dates are calculated in straight calendar years—and the dates measured range from a few years to hundreds of thousands of years.If you haven’t heard of a babysitting co-op you must check out our post on How To Organize a Baby-sitting Co-op!As a community of more than 40 million individual opinions and ways of experiencing the world, we are always coming up with new ways for our users to meet, go on dates, and fall in love.Tree rings, which keep a record of the amount of carbon in the atmosphere when they are created, are used to calibrate or fine-tune radiocarbon dates to their calendar dates.Scholars use the science of dendrochronology, which matches those annular rings to known carbon fluctuations.