Relative dating archaeology

21-Apr-2016 07:16

The development of Atomic Absorption Mass Spectrometry in recent years, a technique that allows one to count the individual atoms of 14C remaining in a sample instead of measuring the radioactive decay of the 14C, has considerably broadened the applicability of radiocarbon dating because it is now possible to date much smaller samples, as small as a grain of rice, for example.Dendrochronology is another archaeological dating technique in which tree rings are used to date pieces of wood to the exact year in which they were cut down.Absolute dating methods mainly include radiocarbon dating, dendrochronology and thermoluminescence.Stratigraphy Inspired by geology, stratigraphy uses the principle of the superposition of strata which suggests that, in a succession of undisturbed SOILS, the upper horizons are newer than the lower ones.Cultural seriations are based on typologies, in which artifacts that are numerous across a wide variety of sites and over time, like pottery or stone tools.

On the other hand, absolute dating includes all methods that provide figures about the real estimated age of archaeological objects or occupations.Relative dating includes methods that rely on the analysis of comparative data or the context (eg, geological, regional, cultural) in which the object one wishes to date is found.This approach helps to order events chronologically but it does not provide the absolute age of an object expressed in years.This principle presumes that the oldest layer of a stratigraphic sequence will be on the bottom and the most recent, or youngest, will be on the top.The earliest-known hominids in East Africa are often found in very specific stratigraphic contexts that have implications for their relative dating.

On the other hand, absolute dating includes all methods that provide figures about the real estimated age of archaeological objects or occupations.Relative dating includes methods that rely on the analysis of comparative data or the context (eg, geological, regional, cultural) in which the object one wishes to date is found.This approach helps to order events chronologically but it does not provide the absolute age of an object expressed in years.This principle presumes that the oldest layer of a stratigraphic sequence will be on the bottom and the most recent, or youngest, will be on the top.The earliest-known hominids in East Africa are often found in very specific stratigraphic contexts that have implications for their relative dating.Generally, each stratum is isolated in a separate chronological unit that incorporates artifacts.