Archaeology potassium argon dating

The style of the artifact and its archaeological location stratigraphically are required to arrive at a relative date.The limit to relative dating is that it cannot provide an accurate year or a specific date of use.To accomplish this absolute dating methods are used.From traditional historical methods to those which are based on the great variety of modern scientific techniques currently available.Keywords: radio carbon dating, potassium argon dating, seriation, stratigraphy Explain the importance of the following dating methods: (a) radio carbon dating, (b) potassium argon dating, (c) seriation, (d) stratigraphy.Archaeology can be defined as “the scientific study of the human past, of ancient human behaviour, from the earliest times right up to the present.”(Fagan, 2006) .Yet even this seminal K-Ar dating study was plagued by the seemingly insurmountable problem of contamination.

In archaeology dating can be categorised into relative dating and absolute dating techniques.Absolute dating on the other hand is the method of determining an approximate calculated age of an artifact in archaeology.The goal of archaeologist is ultimately to know how old sequences, sites and artefacts are in calendar years.As compared to relative dating which only provides an order of events, absolute dating presents archaeologists with a more calculated evaluation of the object’s age.The first area of discussion in understanding the different dating techniques in archaeology would be stratigraphy.

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According to Renfrew and Bahn, “stratigraphy is the study of stratification- the laying down or depositing of strata one above the other.” (Renfrew and Bahn 2008, 122).

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