Types of dating methods in archaeology

The most common relative dating method is stratigraphy.Other methods include fluorine dating, nitrogen dating, association with bones of extinct fauna, association with certain pollen profiles, association with geological features such as beaches, terraces and river meanders, and the establishment of cultural seriations.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.If archaeologists know how pottery styles, glazes, and techniques have changed over time they can date sites based on the ratio of different kinds of pottery.The most commonly used chronometic method is radiocarbon analysis.It measures the decay of radioactive carbon (14C) that has been absorbed from the atmosphere by a plant or animal prior to its death.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.

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This method can give archaeologists an indication of the age of the artifacts in all Absolute dating methods can give an estimate of the real calendar age of an artifact or site.

An excavation site will also be visited, where students will see the techniques learned in practice.

A short practical session will also take place in January, in which the use of a database will be practised. Registration for the course is not necessary, registration for the exam is mandatory.

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.

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