Thousands of radiocarbon samples from archaeological contexts in New Zealand have been measured since the early 1950s. Radiocarbon ages provide temporal control to many past events. The ANZRD contains over 4200 records and includes the following information for each 14C measurement (where available):

  • Measuring laboratory prefix and unique identification number
  • Result (Conventional Radiocarbon Age [CRA] and error)
  • Reported  δ13C
  • Material dated
  • Location (NZAA site number)
  • Reference

An interactive ArcGIS Online Interactive Map and information on each record via reference to site reports and academic publications are new features of the ARNZD.

Material considerations

Users should be aware that the database may include CRAs of materials from disturbed contexts or of questionable association with human activity. Moreover, while some results were considered reliable in the past, some materials and methods of 14C sample processing are now known to be unreliable. We have deliberately not excluded problematic dates and do not currently provide an assessment of the 14C ages. We refer the user to Bayliss and Marshall (2019) for a comprehensive discussion of problems linked to legacy dates and Bunbury et al. (2022) for NZ-specific examples.

  • Bayliss, A. and P. Marshall (2019). Confessions of a serial polygamist: The reality of radiocarbon reproducibility in archaeological samples. Radiocarbon 61(5):1143–1158.
  • Bunbury, M., F. Petchey and S.H. Bickler (2022). A new chronology for the Māori settlement of Aotearoa (NZ) and the potential role of climate change in demographic developments. PNAS, 119(46),