Cons of carbon 14 dating
Part of CARD's expansion efforts is to make the software behind the site open source, allowing research groups to set up their own version of CARD while still contributing core information to the main database.
Just like the site of the underwater cypress forest off the Alabama coast not being published, precise locations must be kept secret in many countries because of the fear of looting or just plain destruction of the site by some people.
Added to this, some metadata, including the context of the find or the exact method of testing can be difficult to standardize. It’s not just a number,” says Tom Higham, deputy director of the Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit in the United Kingdom.
“I’ve been working in my area for 20 years, and just last month I found a data set I didn’t know existed,” says Andrew Martindale, an anthropological archaeologist at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver and director of CARD.
However, Kelly says the most "compelling" reason for a global database is that it would allow data mining.
It counts all the Carbon-14 atoms in the sample and not just the few that happen to decay during the measurements. Richard "Dick" Morlan of the Canadian Museum of History (formerly the Canadian Museum of Civilization).