The Importance of Dating Techniques in Archeology
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The Importance of Dating Techniques in Archeology

This article explains why dating techniques are important to the study of Archeology. It includes some of the different dating techniques used in archeology today.

Nowadays, with the many advances that they have been made in the field of archeology, one of these is the dating techniques that these scientists now have at their disposal. When an archeologist find any artifact or locates a mummy, it is definitely important that they can tell you what period that these artifacts come from with some degree of certainty. Finding objects such as the Walls of Jericho was important to proving the biblical claims that this even happened, having the capability to date it to the correct era and know what they were was made possible through the many techniques that are used to date such objects.

In the beginning of archeological excavations, the work done by diggers were not exactly an archeological dig, instead it was the work of fortune hunters and grave robbers looking for some ancient artifact that they could sell or create museum collections from. These early searchers were not as meticulous about record keeping and organizing of information and many artifacts were destroyed or misplaced in the effort. These were people on a search for the most important pieces and smaller more insignificant pieces such as pottery and bone fragments were often overlooked or destroyed.

Today Archeology is a science that involves the reconstruction of history, that seeks to answer question about the past and the cultures that were around during that time, so being able to date the materials found became an important endeavor. Academics and collectors became more concerned about when it happened rather than what it was worth so, more care was taken to ensure that the dating techniques were developed. The most serious archeologist such as Flinders Petrie would make serious contributions to the development of dating procedures, throwing nothing away became the word of the day and it was important to date every piece that was found. The levels of the soil or layers became a consideration for the dating process as well so he showed how the soils levels could help you to date the artifacts that you found during excavations.

There are many different types of dating now available to archeologists such as pottery based dating that was started by W. F. Albright. Other forms of dating include relative and absolute methods of dating, There are many types of dating that fall into these two categories such as Flourine Dating, Pollen Analysis, Obsidian Hydration and Seriation which fall under relative types, as well as Astronomical Dating, Fission Track, Racemization, Oxidizable Carbon Ratio, Thermoluminescence and Radio Carbon Dating that make up the Absolute forms of dating used in Archeology today. For the archeologist interested in past occurrences, knowing which form of dating procedure to do on a site is very important to the success of the dig.

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Comments (2)

Thanks, very interesting!

excellent thank you

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