This animation shows how the calibration curve gets its shape for the last 15,000 years. The blue line represents the original quantity of 14C in the atmosphere before decay. This information is estimated from proxy records such as radiocarbon dated tree rings of known age. The grey line is the amount of 14C remaining in a sample after time has passed (the measured amount of 14C in these same proxy records). The green line is the calibration curve which results. Animation by Maarten Blaauw, Department of Archaeology and Palaeoecology, School of Natural and Built Environment, Queen's University Belfast.