Two methods of absolute dating

Posted by / 18-Jan-2021 11:10

Two methods of absolute dating

Archaeologists use many different techniques to determine the age of a particular artifact, site, or part of a site.Two broad categories of dating or chronometric techniques that archaeologists use are called relative and absolute dating.In other words, artifacts found in the upper layers of a site will have been deposited more recently than those found in the lower layers.Cross-dating of sites, comparing geologic strata at one site with another location and extrapolating the relative ages in that manner, is still an important dating strategy used today, primarily when sites are far too old for absolute dates to have much meaning.Clark Wissler, an anthropologist researching Native American groups in the Southwest, recognized the potential for such dating, and brought Douglass subfossil wood from puebloan ruins.Unfortunately, the wood from the pueblos did not fit into Douglass's record, and over the next 12 years, they searched in vain for a connecting ring pattern, building a second prehistoric sequence of 585 years.Since the turn of the century, several methods to measure elapsed time have been discovered.The first and simplest method of absolute dating is using objects with dates inscribed on them, such as coins, or objects associated with historical events or documents.

Seriation, on the other hand, was a stroke of genius.His research culminated in proving that tree ring width varies with annual rainfall.Not only that, it varies regionally, such that all trees within a specific species and region will show the same relative growth during wet years and dry years.Absolute dating, the ability to attach a specific chronological date to an object or collection of objects, was a breakthrough for archaeologists.Until the 20th century, with its multiple developments, only relative dates could be determined with any confidence.

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Stratigraphy is the oldest of the relative dating methods that archaeologists use to date things.

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