Absolute and relative dating archaeology

Carbon-14 is an unstable isotope of normal carbon, carbon-12.

Cosmic radiation entering the earth’s atmosphere produces carbon-14, and plants take in carbon-14 as they fix carbon dioxide.

Basing on this principle, the cultural assemblages found in different layers can be assigned a chronological personality. In practice it is found that the mounds are disturbed9 by all sorts of pits and dumps.

For example, if the cultural contents of the lower deposit are Mauryan in character, appropriately this deposit may be assigned a date between 400-200 B. Similarly, if the cultural equipment of the upper deposit are of the Sunga period, this deposit has to placed between 200-73 B. Quite often, the archaeologist decided the change of stratum on the basis of the feed of the deposit.

" Serianne Worden (Columbia University) beams over a piece of pottery in the fill of an obsolete tank in the "Soap Factory." Nearly all of the industrial tanks we have excavated are adjacent to the threshold, in close proximity to the path of curious tourists. When possible, fractured pieces are rejoined in their original configuration, as was this platter held by Louise Ford (University of Bradford).

A crater in the city wall behind marks the point of impact one such ball may have made in 89 B. Burns is currently a doctoral student at University College London, where he is writing a dissertation on Roman warfare. All ceramic samples are carefully sorted, catalogued, illustrated, and studied by pottery specialists.

One of the most widely used and well-known absolute dating techniques is carbon-14 (or radiocarbon) dating, which is used to date organic remains.

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Two broad categories of classification methods are relative dating and absolute dating.

On the other hand, absolute dating includes all methods that provide figures about the real estimated age of archaeological objects or occupations.

These methods usually analyze physicochemical transformation phenomena whose rate are known or can be estimated relatively well.

In such cases subjective element cannot be ruled out.

But, for a single culture site the method is quite reliable.


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