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Mendoza, International Rice Research Institute (1984)"Special communication on soil pretreatment by high concentrations of nitric acid for radiocarbon dating.

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That innovation led to a drastic reduction in the amount of carbon necessary for a radiocarbon date - from a few grams to less than 1 mg of carbon.

This reduction in sample size opened the way for even the small amounts of organic matter in rock paintings to be dated starting a decade later in 1987.

The Geological Record Of Ecological Dynamics: Understanding The Biotic by National Academies Press (U. Archaeology of the United Arab Emirates: Proceedings of the First by Daniel T.

S.) (2005)"Within the range of radiocarbon dating, calibrated amino acid dates can be reliable and economical alternatives to radiocarbon dating for particular sites. Organic Matter and Rice by Stephen Banta, Corazon V. Permafrost: North American Contribution [to The] Second International Conference by Building Research Advisory Board Staff (1973)"radiocarbon dating of coastal peat. Potts, Hasan Al Naboodah, Peter Hellyer (2003)"radiocarbon dating of two carbonised date stones {Phoenix dactylifera) from ...

If it was a simple matter of counting backward, what was accurately measured and published as 500 BP today in fifty years would be 550 BP.

We need a fixed point in time as a starting point so that all the BP dates are equivalent no matter when they are published.

BP was first established as a way to clarify the relationship between calendar years and radiocarbon dates.

One advantage to using BP is it avoids the occasionally irate philosophical debate about whether, in this multicultural world of ours, it is more appropriate to use AD and BC, with their explicit references to Christianity, or to use the same calendar but without the explicit references: CE (Common Era) and BCE (Before the Common Era).

Radiocarbon dates after 1950 are virtually useless unless and until we can figure out a way to calibrate for the excessive amount of carbon still being deposited in our atmosphere.

Nonetheless, 1950 is a long time ago now—should we adjust the starting point to 2000?

The problem is, of course, that CE and BCE still use the estimated date of the birth of Christ as the reference points for its numbering system: the two years 1 BCE and 1 CE are numerically equivalent to 1 BC and 1 AD.

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