Anchoring historical sequences using a new source of astro-chronological tie-points

Michael W. Dee, Benjamin J.S. Pope

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The discovery of past spikes in atmospheric radiocarbon activity, caused by major solar energetic particle events, has opened up new possibilities for high-precision chronometry. The two spikes, or Miyake Events, have now been widely identified in tree-rings that grew in the years 775 and 994 CE. Furthermore, all other plant material that grew in these years would also have incorporated the anomalously high concentrations of radiocarbon. Crucially, some plant-based artefacts, such as papyrus documents, timber beams and linen garments, can also be allocated to specific positions within long, currently unfixed, historical sequences. Thus, Miyake Events represent a new source of tie-points that could provide the means for anchoring early chronologies to the absolute timescale. Here, we explore this possibility, outlining the most expeditious approaches, the current challenges and obstacles, and how they might best be overcome.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages11
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society A, Mathematical Physical and Engineering Sciences
Volume472
Issue number2192
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 17-Aug-2016

Keywords

  • COSMIC-RAY EVENT
  • TREE-RINGS
  • AD 774-775
  • ICE CORE
  • C-14
  • INCREASE
  • ATMOSPHERE
  • GREENLAND
  • CHINA
  • JAPAN

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