ANT 304 Lecture Notes - Lecture 4: Radiocarbon Dating, Dendrochronology, Absolute Dating

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8 Feb 2017

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09-12-16 Archaeology
1. Context
a. Culture
b. Time
i. Relativity chronology
ii. Superposition- the top layer of material is the youngest while the bottom
layer is the oldest
iii. Battleship curves
iv. Seriation- when things become popular and then drop off while
something else picks up
1. helps with cross-dating (relative dating)- using artifacts and their
order of seriation to find the chronology
v. absolute dating (chronometric dating)- calendars, historical records, etc.
that are very specific
1. Tree-ring dating (dendrochronology)
a. Measured back in time- present to beginning
b. Ireland, Germany, etc.
2. C-14 (radiocarbon dating)-
a. Invented by Libby in 1940s
b. Need organic material
i. Charcoal, bone, shell, hair
ii. Something that was living
c. Always come back with a plus or minus
i. 100 BC 5 years
d. good for up to about 40,000 years ago
c. Space
i. Law of association- an artifact is contemporary with other artifacts found
in the same archaeological horizon
d. Primary context- when something is in its original space and time
e. Secondary context- when the artifact has been moved/removed from its original
space and time, but then returned
f. Culture, time, and space are inseparable- we are looking for their
2. Ways to gather information
a. Survey- surveying (walking across) the land
find more resources at
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