Cross dating in archaeology


26-Mar-2020 00:24

While some geologists concentrated on the age of the Earth, others studied distinctive surface traces left behind by changes in the extent of polar ice during the most recent (Quaternary) geological period.They identified a succession of Ice Ages alternating with temperate conditions (glacials and interglacials) which - if they could be dated - would reveal much about the evolution of early humans in the context of changing environmental conditions.The transformation of archaeological dating that began around 1950 continues, but archaeologists may overlook the revolution in scientific dating that had already taken place in geology during the first half of the twentieth century; from this wider perspective, the emergence of radiocarbon dating may seem slightly less dramatic Accurate knowledge of the age of the Earth was of little direct help to archaeologists, but it emphasised the potential of scientific dating techniques.The first half of the twentieth century witnessed similar progress that began with the dating of recent geological periods in which early hominids lived, and ended with the introduction of radiocarbon dating.These techniques both place assemblages of artefacts into relative order.

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Classification divides things up for the purposes of description, whereas typology seeks to identify and analyse changes that will allow artefacts to be placed into sequences.Unfortunately there are many problems in the direct application of dendrochronological dating.



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