Relative chronometric dating techniques
This is the only type of techniques that can help clarifying the actual age of an object.
Absolute dating methods mainly include radiocarbon dating, dendrochronology and thermoluminescence.
There are two main categories of dating methods in archaeology: indirect or relative dating and absolute dating.
Relative dating includes methods that rely on the analysis of comparative data or the context (eg, geological, regional, cultural) in which the object one wishes to date is found.
This method is primarily applied to projectile points and ceramic vessels.
These present many characteristics that are used for comparing them, such as morphology and raw materials in the case of stone tools, and decorative techniques and motifs in the case of ceramics.
Radiocarbon dating, however, can only be used for dating objects that are less than 50 000 years.The amount of carbon 14 remaining in the material to date is compared to a reference standard (ratio 14C/total carbon, 12C and 13C) to calculate the time elapsed since its occurrence.A sample requires 10 to 20 grams of matter and usually consists of charred organic material, mainly charcoal, but bones (zooarchaeology) and shells can also be dated using this technique.For those researchers working in the field of human history, the chronology of events remains a major element of reflection.Archaeologists have access to various techniques for dating archaeological sites or the objects found on those sites.
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An initial reading dates the specimen which is then calibrated by considering this date and its correspondence with the measurable level of carbon 14 stored over time in the growth rings of certain tree species, including redwood and pine bristol.