When a number of objects are recovered from one deposit, the terminus post quem is based on the dating from the 'youngest' find.Even though other items in the same stratum indicate earlier dates, they may have been deposited at the same time.According to him, the dates were erroneous because they failed to date the event of the building of the temple.Subsequent investigations into the dating of the Mayan Long Count focussed on dating exterior bark and samples from smaller vault beams, and it was found that the Thompson correlation was the correct interpretation when inbuilt age was negligible (Coe, 19).Samples of Sapodilla wooden beams found spanning inscribed Late Classic Mayan doorways at Tikal were dated by the University of Pennsylvania, and it was found that the Spinden correlation was correct.Shortly after the dates were released, Satterthwaite (1956; in Fedick and Taube, 1992) questioned their validity because the beams had been reduced in size and their exterior bore no resemblance to the original trees.In the late 1950's, the issue of presample age was identified as a causal factor in the difficulties encountered in accurately cross-dating the Julian calendar with that of the Yucatan Maya of Lowland Mexico.The Mayan calendar; is centred on a complex Long Count cycle which repeats every 5125.6 solar years (Fedick and Taube, 194) and its decipherment in the the 1950's gave archaeologists an opportunity to develop an accurate chronology for the Mayan culture (Sabloff, 1989).
Even then, there remains an inbuilt age effect, albeit somewhat reduced.
In these cases, it is fair to say that identified charcoal will always date the event more closely than older wood.
In New Zealand archaeology, radiocarbon daters and archaeologists alike have grappled with issues of inbuilt age and old wood.
The old wood effect or old wood problem is a pitfall encountered in the archaeological technique of radiocarbon dating.
A sample will provide misleading or confusing results if materials of different ages are deposited in the same context.