The Mayan calendar used 3114 BC as their reference.
More recently is the radiocarbon date of 1950 AD or before present, BP.
"Everything which has come down to us from heathendom is wrapped in a thick fog; it belongs to a space of time we cannot measure.
We know that it is older than Christendom, but whether by a couple of years or a couple of centuries, or even by more than a millenium, we can do no more than guess." [Rasmus Nyerup, (Danish antiquarian), 1802 (in Trigger, 19)].
Nuclear laboratories, awash with funds and prestige, spun off the discovery of an amazing new technique radiocarbon dating.
Nyerup's words illustrate poignantly the critical power and importance of dating; to order time.
Radiocarbon dating has been one of the most significant discoveries in 20th century science.
Climate science required the invention and mastery of many difficult techniques.
These had pitfalls, which could lead to controversy.
The radiocarbon method was developed by a team of scientists led by the late Professor Willard F.