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To give an example if a sample is found to have a radiocarbon concentration exactly half of that for material which was modern in 1950 the radiocarbon measurement would be reported as 5568 BP.

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This plot shows how the radiocarbon measurement 3000 -30BP would be calibrated.

The left-hand axis shows radiocarbon concentration expressed in years `before present' and the bottom axis shows calendar years (derived from the tree ring data).

These are the basis for the calibrations performed by the programs like CALIB and Ox Cal. Calibration of radiocarbon determinations is in principle very simple.

If you have a radiocarbon measurement on a sample, you can try to find a tree ring with the same proportion of radiocarbon.

To extend this method further we must use the fact that tree ring widths vary from year to year with changing weather patterns.

By using these widths, it is possible to compare the tree rings in a dead tree to those in a tree that is still growing in the same region.between 2940BP and 3060BP for the measurement 3000 -30BP).A slightly different method is now more often used which is called the `probability method'.There are two main methods used for calculating age ranges from the calibration curve: The first method to be employed was called the `intercept method' because it can be done by drawing intercepts on a graph.This method will tell you the years in which the radiocarbon concentration of tree rings is within two standard deviations of your measurement (e.g.This requires a computer since the calculations are more complicated.

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