Pollen dating was crucial in the dating of Ice Man and the Shroud of Turin. Simply assuming that an object is older because it was found at a lower depth in the record is only subjective science. There are many instances of deep holes being dug for rubbish pits or to locate well water that protrude into the record of older strata injecting more modern material as they are filled in over time. Landslides and slips can completely change the topography of an entire site burying what was once on top by that which is much older, hence reversing the strata layers.
Presentation on theme: "ARCHAEOLOGICAL DATING TECHNIQUES"— Presentation transcript:
Since there has been a transformation in the dating techniques of archaeologists. Absolute dating is highly dependant on laboratory analysis. There are a number of techniques that have come to archaeology through the nuclear research efforts during WW2. At the moment of death the C14 begins to decay at a rate that scientists already know from other experiments. The missing amount can then determine how long it took to be lost and therefore date the object to a precise period.
C14 dating can only be used on organic matter. Larger samples are better, because purification and distillation remove some matter. Although new techniques for working with very small samples have been developed, like accelerator dating, these are very expensive and still somewhat experimental. Second, great care must be taken in collecting and packing samples to avoid contamination by more recent carbon. For each sample, clean trowels should be used, to avoid cross contamination between samples..
Third, because the decay rate is logarithmic, radiocarbon dating has significant upper and lower limits. It is not very accurate for fairly recent deposits. This is also called Tree-Ring Dating. Tree-Ring dating is based on the principle that the growth rings on certain species of trees reflect variations in seasonal and annual rainfall.
Trees from the same species, growing in the same area or environment will be exposed to the same conditions, and hence their growth rings will match at the point where their lifecycles overlap. Where the right species are available, the wood must be well enough preserved that the rings are readable. In addition, there must be at least 30 intact rings on any one sample.
There also must be an existing master strip for that area and species. There is an absolute limit on how far back in the past we can date things with tree rings. Although bristle cone pine trees can live to 9, years, this is a very rare phenomenon. As we try to push our matching of archaeological specimens beyond the range for which we have good control data, our confidence in the derived dates diminishes.
Although it was originally thought that there has always been about the same ratio, radiocarbon samples taken and cross dated using other techniques like dendrochronology have shown that the ratio of C to C has varied significantly during the history of the Earth. Finally, although radiocarbon dating is the most common and widely used chronometric technique in archaeology today, it is not infallable.
In general, single dates should not be trusted.
Whenever possible multiple samples should be collected and dated from associated strata. This method is most often used as a means of relative dating , but an absolute date may also be estimated in some circumstances Obsidian was a common rock used in stone tool making. Obsidian is used mainly because of its availability in prehistoric tool making and its unique quality of rehydrating itself after a fracture When obsidian is newly exposed to the atmosphere, its surface begins to absorb water from the air, which gradually seeps into the interior of the stone.
Several factors can affect the obsidian's water absorption, including soil type, climate, time and geochemistry. When viewed under a microscope, the layer permeated by moisture known as a "rind" becomes visible as a rim when the rind reaches a width of 0. The greater the rind thickness, the greater the age of the exposed obsidian. I Twelve thousand years of non-linear cultural evolution: The physics of chaos in Archaeology.
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ARCHAEOLOGICAL DATING TECHNIQUES
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I Emergence and behaviour of radon isotopes in Greek geothermal fields. I Beta thermoluminescence: New dating method for quaternary chronology. E Variation in the auroral borealis frequency occurrence in relation to solar and geomagnetic activity during Seminar, "Historical and monumental structures in seismic regions", Oct. Liritzis, I, Galloway R.
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