Absolute chronometric dating

Absolute dates do not necessarily tell us when a particular cultural event happened, but when taken as part of the overall archaeological record they are invaluable in constructing a more specific sequence of events.

Absolute dating contrasts with the relative dating techniques employed, such as stratigraphy.

absolute chronometric dating-44absolute chronometric dating-8absolute chronometric dating-28

Thus dating that particular tree does not necessarily indicate when the fire burned or the structure was built.For this reason, many archaeologists prefer to use samples from short-lived plants for radiocarbon dating.This technique is based on the principle that all objects absorb radiation from the environment.This process frees electrons within minerals that remain caught within the item.Given an initial and a present quantity of such an isotope and its half-life, the time elapsed may be calculated.

Various methods apply to different materials and timescales.After another 5,730 years only one-quarter of the original carbon-14 will remain.After yet another 5,730 years only one-eighth will be left.K-Ar dating was used to calibrate the geomagnetic polarity time scale.Thermoluminesence testing also dates items to the last time they were heated.One of the most widely used and well-known absolute dating techniques is carbon-14 (or radiocarbon) dating, which is used to date organic remains.