C14 and calibration resources

There are some interesting websites to learn about radiocarbon calibration and related topics. Some of them have been useful during the development of this software.

Other software

  • OxCal is developed by the Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit: it’s by far the most used calibration program
  • CALIB is a radiocarbon calibration program. A command-line Linux version is available (non-free software, but works well)
  • BCal is an on-line Bayesian radiocarbon calibration tool hosted by the Department of Probability and Statistics at the University of Sheffield

Reference websites

  • Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit contains a detailed explanation of how to use C14 datings and how calibration works
  • Radiocarbon is the main international journal of record for research articles and date lists relevant to 14C and other radioisotopes and techniques used in archaeological, geophysical, oceanographic, and related dating techniques
  • radiocarbon WEB-info provides online information concerning the radiocarbon dating method

Calibration curves

Calibration curves are released in the public domain and can be downloaded in their native format, a slightly customised CSV:

Please note that IOSACal already includes the calibration curves listed below:

  • IntCal13
  • Marine13
  • ShCal13
  • IntCal09
  • Marine09
  • IntCal04
  • Marine04
  • ShCal04
  • IntCal98
  • Marine98

Older calibration curves are useful to reproduce calibration results found in published literature.

Radiocarbon databases

There are a few databases of radiocarbon dates that are available as open data, and can be easily downloaded as CSV files for further processing.

Both databases are useful to experiment with many dates and apart from their specific research aims and spatio-temporal coordinates, they are incredibly useful as a learning resource.

Other databases are usually released under restrictive license terms or unavailable to the public.