Absolute and relative dating in archaeology

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.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) .Although the importance of the different dating methods may outweigh each other, the all are very important to the study of archaeology as a whole.This essay shall focus on the importance of radio carbon dating, potassium argon dating, seriation and stratigraphy to the archaeological study.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.

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This basically involves ordering things into sequences.

In moving forward explain the importance of radio carbon dating, potassium argon dating, seriation and stratigraphy to the archaeological study, one must first understand the difference between relative dating and absolute dating in archaeology.

Relative dating in archaeology assumes the age of an artifact in relation and by comparison to other objects found in its environs.

Fagan describes the Law of Superposition as, “the notion that underlying levels are earlier than those that cover them.” (Fagan 2009, 103).

He further explains that the lower levels are relatively earlier than the later strata, which is basically entails.

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