We soon realized that it would be suitable and fruitful to confront two sources of informations: the archaeological reports concerning the context of the samples with the detailed laboratory reports about the method of datation employed and its final results.
For that reason, when we finished collecting the data of our Catalogue, we addressed ourselves once more to the radiocarbon laboratories, which had produced the datings we collected, requesting from them a confirmation of the results we reported.
(1) The results of calibration of individual 14C dates by Adam Michczynski are presented in Table 1 and Figure 1.
In the following commentary, we will refer mostly to Valdivia dates, since they were obtained by the most varied field methods, during the forty years Valdivia sites have been under excavation.
This paper has two parts: firstly, an archaeological discussion of the Valdivia absolute chronology by Jorge Marcos; and secondly, the presentation of the calibration of the Valdivia dates in the Gliwice Radiocarbon Laboratory, by Adam Michczynski.
The data were dispersed in many publications, in various countries, some dates have never been published and were available only in laboratory archives or remained in the possession of individual researchers.
This situation and the complications arising from it may be best illustrated by the fact that the fundamental work „Chronology in New World Archaeology” (Taylor, Meighan, ed.1978) does not contain a chapter on chronology of the Central-Andean cultures.
But in some cases, as for example in that of the radiocarbon laboratory of the U. Geological Survey (code W), the major part of the datings send to us were still unpublished.
We received especially important assistance from the Centre des Faibles Radioactivite Laboratoire Mixte CNRS-CEA in Gif sur Yvette, France (codes Gif and Gif A), which offered us the access to all the records, information and publications collected in their archive.In the following years some efforts have been made to establish catalogues for particular cultures and/or regions (Engel 1966; Bischof 1972; Ponce Sangines 1972; Burger 1981; Watson 1986) or for the entire considered area. Ravines' catalogues were especially interesting (Ravines and Alvarez Sauri, 1967; Ravines 1982).The largest one (Ravines 1982) contains 752 C-14 dates.Rapidly though, it appeared that the growing number of dates produced every year (several tens of thousands, obviously not only for archaeology) could not be presented in one review any more.In the eighties appeared the idea of creating a general worldwide data base of all the radiocarbon datings, the so-called IRDB (International Radiocarbon Database).In Andean archaeology, absolute dating is mainly accomplished by the C-14 dating method, and the dates from the Andean sites appeared in the very first radiocarbon laboratory lists, in the early fifties, i.e. The thermoluminescent, paleomagnetic and obsydian methods are considerably less frequently used.