Methods dating artefacts
The underlying principle of stratigraphic analysis in archaeology is that of superposition.
This term means that older artefacts are usually found below younger items.
The half-life of C is approximately 5730 years, which is too short for this method to be used to date material millions of years old.
The isotope of Potassium-40, which has a half-life of 1.25 Billion years, can be used for such long measurements.
Based on a discipline of geology called stratigraphy, rock layers are used to decipher the sequence of historical geological events.
Relative techniques can determine the sequence of events but not the precise date of an event, making these methods unreliable.
The absolute dating method first appeared in 1907 with Lord Rutherford and Professor Boltwood at Yale University, but wasn’t accepted until the 1950s.
The first method was based on radioactive elements whose property of decay occurs at a constant rate, known as the half-life of the isotope.
Relative dating includes different techniques, but the most commonly used are soil stratigraphy analysis and typology.
When museums and collectors purchase archaeological items for their collections they enter an expensive and potentially deceptive commercial fine arts arena.
Healthy profits are to be made from illicitly plundered ancient sites or selling skillfully made forgeries.
b) Absolute These methods are based on calculating the date of artefacts in a more precise way using different attributes of materials.
This method includes carbon dating and thermoluminescence.