Archaeological dating techniques

Dating is very important in archaeology for constructing models of the past, as it relies on the integrity of dateable objects and samples.

Many disciplines of archaeological science are concerned with dating evidence, but in practice several different dating techniques must be applied in some circumstances, thus dating evidence for much of an archaeological sequence recorded during excavation requires matching information from known absolute or some associated steps, with a careful study of stratigraphic relationships.

In this relative dating method, Latin terms ante quem and post quem are usually used to indicate both the oldest and the most recent possible moments when an event occurred or an artifact was left in a stratum.

But this method is also useful in many other disciplines.

Provenance analysis has the potential to determine the original source of the materials used, for example, to make a particular artifact.

This can show how far the artifact has traveled and can indicate the existence of systems of exchange.

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Dating is carried out mainly post excavation, but to support good practice, some preliminary dating work called "spot dating" is usually run in tandem with excavation.

Chronological dating, or simply dating, is the process of attributing to an object or event a date in the past, allowing such object or event to be located in a previously established chronology.

This usually requires what is commonly known as a "dating method".

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

These techniques include: Lead, strontium and oxygen isotope analysis can also test human remains to estimate the diets and even the birthplaces of a study's subjects.

That means that the play was without fail written after (in Latin, post) 1587.

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