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Lecture 4

ANTA01-lecture 4.docx

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Mary Silcox

ANTA01 – Lecture 4 October 1, 2012  Dating Methods o Relative dating – provides relative ordering of material or sites  Structured by stratigraphy – study of the sequential layering of deposits  Principle of superpositioning – in a stratigraphic sequence, the lower layers were deposited before the upper layers  Humans can disrupt the layers with burials  Stratigraphic column show the relative positions of layers in locality  After the stratigraphic column, we are linking og geological layers (strata) based on their physical characteristics; called physical correlation.  The law of faunal succession – strata that contain fossils of the same animals are the same age  Makes use o index fossils (fossils remains of known age)  Should be broadly distributed with species of short duration  Used in biostratigraphy (faunal dating)  Cross-dating 0 estimates the age of artifacts and features based on their similarities with comparable materials from dates contexts o Absolute dating (chronometric dating) – provides an actual chronological are, usually with an error range, for an object or a part of a site  Willard F. Libby  Father of the “radiocarbon revolution”  Winner of the Nobel Prize in 1960  Carbon o All things are made of atom that have a nucleus with protons and neutrons; 7 protons (atom of nitrogen) o Isotopes – atoms that have the same number of protons but different number of neutrons  Carbon that exists in nature  C12 and C13 0 Stable  C14 – unstable  Everything has carbon; o when you die, C14 will deteriorate; you become less radioactive o half-life – the time period in which one half the amount of a radioactive isotope is chemically converted to a daughter product  C14 decays into Nitrogen-14 with a half-life of 5730 years o Carbon 14: half-life is 5730 years  Can date a
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