Dating archeological eras


Long after the Gregorian calendar was established throughout most of the world, atomic clocks have allowed us to adjust our modern calendars with leap seconds to correct for the slowing spin of our planet and other corrections.But, perhaps the most interesting outcome of all this investigation is the wide variety of modern mathematicians and programmers who have taken a crack at perfecting the matches between ancient calendars using modern technology.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).



It marks an important stage in human cultural, social and technological evolution.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.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.