Dating in archaeology a guide to scientific techniques

Dating in archaeology a guide to scientific techniques

Scientific archaeologists grasped at this rather quickly, although it wasn’t used as a consistent technique until around the turn of the nineteenth century.Since then, the technique has been refined, and tools such as the Harris Matrixassist in picking out the sometimes quite complicated and delicate deposits.A succession of layers should provide a relative chronological sequence from the earliest (the bottom layer) to the latest (top), as seen in figure one.It’s important to note that stratigraphy involves the Law of Superposition.Fagan describes the Law of Superposition as, “the notion that underlying levels are earlier than those that cover them.” (Fagan 2009, 103).He further explains that the lower levels are relatively earlier than the later strata, which is basically entails.Renfrew and Bahn explain that there are two versions of the seriation technique: contextual seriation and frequency seriation.

The limit to relative dating is that it cannot provide an accurate year or a specific date of use.

The study of archaeology as an academic discipline is dependant on the accuracy of various dating methods.

Dating methods in archaeology can be divided into two groups: Relative dating methods and Absolute dating methods.

Accurate dating has always been of importance to scientist and archaeologist alike.

In archaeology dating can be categorised into relative dating and absolute dating techniques.

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Explain the importance of the following dating methods: (a) radio carbon dating, (b) potassium argon dating, (c) seriation, (d) stratigraphy.

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