Archaeologists dating methods

On the one level, events and individuals are placed in an absolute chronology: the exact years and sometimes even months and days of the events and biographies are known.On the other level, the exact years may not be known, but it is known that one feature is earlier or later in relation to another; this is typically the case on an excavation, where the different archaeological strata allow objects found to be placed in a relative historical framework.Archaeologists must depend on their experience to guide them as to the most effective use of resources in selecting their dating methods.Often, this only becomes clear at the post-excavation stage.Seriation was developed in the USA to place in order finds from strata or other kinds of assemblages such as potsherds collected from the surface of sites.Prehistorians sometimes overestimate the accuracy and detail of frameworks based on historical evidence; in practice, early written sources may provide little more information than a scatter of radiocarbon dates.Relative dating methods allow one to determine if an object is earlier than, later than, or contemporary with some other object.It does not, however, allow one to independently assign an accurate estimation of the age of an object as expressed in years.

archaeologists dating methods-60archaeologists dating methods-34archaeologists dating methods-83

However, we do not even know the number of kings for all periods, and there is also the possibility that reigns overlapped by coregency or in times of political disunity.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.It is always good practice, therefore, to take a wide range of samples of any datable material during excavation, so that there will be maximum potential for a dating programme afterwards.Ideally, materials used should complement each other and provide a means of cross-checking.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.

404

Leave a Reply