Dating techniques archaeology wiki

By measuring the amount of radioactive decay of a radioactive isotope with a known half-life, geologists can establish the absolute age of the parent material.A number of radioactive isotopes are used for this purpose, and depending on the rate of decay, are used for dating different geological periods.More slowly decaying isotopes are useful for longer periods of time, but less accurate in absolute years.With the exception of the radiocarbon method, most of these techniques are actually based on measuring an increase in the abundance of a radiogenic isotope, which is the decay-product of the radioactive parent isotope. They are produced by cosmic rays interacting with Earth materials.The data show when a surface, such as an alluvial fan, was created.Burial dating uses the radioactive decay of two elements to find the age when a sediment was buried away from cosmic rays.Luminescence dating techniques use 'light' emitted from materials such as quartz, diamond, feldspar, and calcite.

Marker horizons are stratigraphic units of the same age, with distinctive composition and appearance.So, though they are in different geographic sites, there is certainty about their age-equivalence.Fossil faunal and floral assemblages, marine and terrestrial, make for distinctive marker horizons.Archaeological science, also known as archaeometry, consists of the application of scientific techniques to the analysis of archaeological materials, to assist in dating the materials. In the United Kingdom, the Natural and Environmental Research Council provides funding for archaeometry separate from the funding provided for archaeology.

Another important subdiscipline of archaeometry is the study of artifacts.

Archaeometrists have used a variety of methods to analyze artifacts, either to determine more about their composition, or to determine their provenance.

Dating techniques archaeology wiki comments

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