Database Fields

    NZAA site number

    A unique New Zealand Archaeological Association site record number for each archaeological site. More information can be found here.

    Laboratory ID

    A prefix plus laboratory number for each dated sample. The prefix identifies the measuring laboratory.


    The type of material dated (e.g., wood, charcoal, bone, shell). Includes a description of taxa if available.

    CRA and error

    The conventional radiocarbon age and error. This is expressed as years BP (i.e., before present where present is AD 1950) calculated according to the conventions given by Stuiver and Polach (1977). This value needs to be calibrated to produce a calendar age.


    The δ13C value is used to correct radiocarbon dates for any fractionation caused by processing. The value is expressed in parts per thousand (‰). The δ13C is measured and included in the CRA calculation. This value is no longer routinely reported with the CRA for AMS (accelerator mass spectrometry) dates, and some values listed in the ANZRD may be environmental isotopes (see below).

    Environmental isotopes

    δ18O, δ13C, and or δ15N values provide information about the environment and diet of the animal.

    Calendar age

    Radiocarbon ages given in the Online Viewer are uncalibrated. Conversion of the CRA to a calendar date can be done using the most recent calibration datasets (i.e., Hogg et al. 2020; Heaton et al. 2020). A static ΔR of -154 ± 38 14C years is the current recommended value to correct for regional marine variation (Petchey 2020). More information on calibration and the reporting of radiocarbon dates can be found here.


    Reference to published archaeological data, site reports, theses, and HNZPT reports associated with the radiocarbon age. These should be consulted to place the sample dated in context.

  • Heaton, T.J., Köhler, P., Butzin, M., Bard, E., Reimer, R.W., Austin, W.E.N., Bronk Ramsey, C., Grootes, P.M., Hughen, K.A., Kromer, B., Reimer, P.J., Adkins, J., Burke, A., Cook, M.S., Olsen, J., & Skinner, L.C. (2020). Marine20—The marine radiocarbon age calibration curve (0–55,000 cal BP). Radiocarbon 62(4):779-820.

  • Hogg, A., T.J. Heaton, Q. Hua, J. Palmer, C. Turney, J. Southon, A. Bayliss, P.G. Blackwell, G. Boswijk, C. Bronk Ramsey, F. Petchey, P. Reimer, R. Reimer and L. Wacker (2020). SHCAL20 Southern Hemisphere calibration, 0-55,000 years cal BP. Radiocarbon 62(4):759-778.

  • Petchey, F. (2020) Temporal variations from the Marine20 radiocarbon calibration curve. Recommendations for New Zealand. Archaeology in New Zealand 63(3):24-28.

  • Stuiver, M. and H.A. Polach (1977). Discussion: Reporting of 14C data. Radiocarbon 19: 355-363.

  • Other Terminology


    Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry. Measured on CO2.


    Carbon Isotope Analyser. Measured on CO2.


    Accelerator Mass Spectrometry. Here used in the δ13C field to indicate where δ13C has been measured by AMS and not reported.


    A regional difference from the average global marine calibration curve is designated ΔR (Stuiver et al. 1986). ΔR is assumed to be a constant for a given region and is calculated from the difference in 14C years of known age marine samples and the marine model age for that calendar age. Regional ΔR for the modern ocean can be found here .

    Fixed carbon
    Ultrafiltered gelatin

    Terms applied to different fractions of bone isolated during the last 70 years for radiocarbon dating.  See Petchey (1999) for more information.


    The New Zealand Archaeological Association is a national organisation for those interested in archaeology and heritage.


    Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga advocates for the protection of ancestral sites and heritage buildings. To access the HNZPT Digital Library click here.


    The NZAA ArchSite provides point locations and field record forms for NZ archaeological sites.

  • Petchey, F. (1999). New Zealand bone dating revisited: A radiocarbon discard protocol for bone. New Zealand Journal of Archaeology 19:81–124.

    Laboratory prefixes*


    Radiocarbon Dating Laboratory, University of Waikato, Hamilton, NZ


    National Museums of Canada Saskatchewan Research Council 14C laboratory.


    Keck-CCAMS Group, Irvine, California, USA.


    Yale University Radiocarbon Radiocarbon Laboratory, USA.

    NZ-, NZA-

    National Isotope Centre (previously Rafter Radiocarbon Laboratory), Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences, Lower Hutt, NZ

    ANU-, SANU-

    Radiocarbon Laboratory, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia


    Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit, University of Oxford, UK


    Beta Analytic Inc, Miami, Florida, USA


    NSF-Arizona AMS Facility, University of Arizona, USA


    Radiocarbon Laboratory, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia

    ANSTO-, Oz-

    ANTARES AMS Facility, Menai, Australia


    DirectAMS, Washington, USA


    Radiocarbon Laboratory, Gakushuin University, Tokyo, Japan

    *Contact information for most laboratories can be found here. Not all laboratories are still in operation.