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The screen wall counter had a sensitive portion 8 inches in length, so the long anticoincidence shielding counters afforded considerable protection on the ends. The data obtained are presented in Table 1 and Fig. It was a sample of Douglas fir excavated by Morris in the Red Rock Valley in 1931, the exact location being Room 6 of the Broken Flute Cave. One of the six average values, and seven of the 17 individual runs, differ by more than one standard deviation unit from the predicted value.

One of the two was from the tomb of Sneferu of Meydum (furnished by Froelich Rainey, of the University of Pennsylvania Museum in Philadelphia), which was 4575 ±75 years old.

The last sample, really being two samples, was described, with measurements, in an earlier publication .

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for archaeological and geological samples have been completed. The next sample was furnished by John Wilson, of the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago, and was a piece of wood from a mummiform coffin from Egypt, dated on stylistic grounds in the Ptolemaic period 332–30 B. It was measured quite early in our research, when the sensitivity of the instrument was somewhat less, and so the error is larger and only one measurement was made. The other was from the tomb of Zoser at Sakkara (furnished by Ambrose Lansing, of the Metropolitan Museum in New York City), which was 4650 ±75 years old.

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These results indicate that the two basic assumptions of the radiocarbon age determination method — namely, the constancy of the cosmic radiation intensity and the possibility of obtaining unaltered samples — are probably justified for wood up to 4600 years.

The fact that the most ancient samples agree with the predicted value shows that the cosmic ray intensity has been constant to within about 10 percent for periods up to 20,000 years ago.

It was decided that the proof of the method in periods older than 5000 years, for which there are no generally accepted dates for testing, would have to be obtained by checks of internal consistency from a wide variety of samples and in a wide variety of problems.

Eleven different major dating questions were selected for this purpose and prominent investigators in each case were invited to collaborate in the research.

The older a sample is, the less (the period of time after which half of a given sample will have decayed) is about 5,730 years, the oldest dates that can be reliably measured by this process date to around 50,000 years ago, although special preparation methods occasionally permit accurate analysis of older samples.

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