Dating techniques in archaeology and paleoanthropology

16 May

Aerial Photography - The various techniques of taking photographs of natural or cultural features from the air, using balloons, airplanes, satellites, and other sources, in order to study the features in their entirety from a top-down (bird's eye) view.Aerial Reconnaissance - The technique of searching for sites and features, both cultural and natural, from the air, often using aerial photography or the human eye.It is increasingly difficult for prehistorians working in the twenty-first century to conceptualise the problems experienced by their predecessors, and approaches to interpretation before the 1960s are consistently criticised.Culture history and diffusionism may - with hindsight - seem excessively preoccupied with classification and social evolution, and to have applied unsophisticated historical interpretations instead of asking fundamental questions about human behaviour.It must be made clear at the outset that typology is not, strictly speaking, a dating method, but a means of placing artefacts into some kind of order.Classification divides things up for the purposes of description, whereas typology seeks to identify and analyse changes that will allow artefacts to be placed into sequences.The remains found from Dmanisi have become crucial, and at the same time very controversial, to the study of human evolution.

Dmanisi is approximately equivalent in age to the oldest localities in eastern Africa.Chronometric dating, also known as chronometry or absolute dating, is any archaeological dating method that gives a result in calendar years before the present time.Archaeologists and scientists use absolute dating methods on samples ranging from prehistoric fossils to artifacts from relatively recent history.Chronometric techniques include radiometric dating and radio-carbon dating, which both determine the age of materials through the decay of their radioactive elements; dendrochronology, which dates events and environmental conditions by studying tree growth rings; fluorine testing, which dates bones by calculating their fluorine content; pollen analysis, which identifies the number and type of pollen in a sample to place it in the correct historical period; and thermoluminescence, which dates ceramic materials by measuring their stored energy.Scientists first developed absolute dating techniques at the end of the 19th century. In academic, historical, and archaeological circles, A. Dates are determined by a variety of processes, including chemical analyses (as in radiocarbon dating and thermoluminescence), data correlation (as in dendrochronology), and a variety of other tests. Acheulean - A stone tool industry, in use from about 1.6 million years ago until 125,000 years ago. - "Abbreviation for the term Anno Domini Nostri Jesu Christi (or simply Anno Domini) which means ""in the year of our Lord Jesus Christ."" Years are counted from the traditionally recognized year of the birth of Jesus. E.)." Absolute Dating - Collective term for techniques that assign specific dates or date ranges, in calendar years, to artifacts and other archaeological finds.Other dating techniques, such as isotopic potassium-argon (K-Ar) and argon-argon (Ar) dating give an age of 1.8 million years ago.Paleomagnetic analysis of the units around the fossil layer, hold a record of change in magnetic polarity about 1.77 million year ago, which correlates to other dated sites, most notably Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania.Seriation was developed in the USA to place in order finds from strata or other kinds of assemblages such as potsherds collected from the surface of sites.Prehistorians sometimes overestimate the accuracy and detail of frameworks based on historical evidence; in practice, early written sources may provide little more information than a scatter of radiocarbon dates.