Archaeologists use many different techniques to determine the age of a particular artifact, site, or part of a site. Two broad categories of dating or chronometric techniques that archaeologists use are called relative and absolute dating. Stratigraphy is the oldest of the relative dating methods that archaeologists use to date things. Stratigraphy is based on the law of superposition--like a layer cake, the lowest layers must have been formed first.
Thermoluminescence | physics | statsinparis.com
Rachel K. Smedley and Ann G. Luminescence dating is a geochronological tool used to determine the timing of sediment burial, pottery firing, mountain evolution, mineral formation and the exertion of pressure. The luminescence dating technique covers a large age range from modern-day to millions of years. The technique is inherently holistic, drawing upon understanding from disciplines such as physics quantum mechanics , mineralogy grain structure and composition , geochemistry natural radioactivity , archaeology and Earth sciences. This issue brings together contributions on new and innovative luminescence dating methods and the latest findings related to Earth-surface processes and human existence.
Archaeological Dating: Stratigraphy and Seriation
Thermoluminescence , emission of light from some minerals and certain other crystalline materials. The light energy released is derived from electron displacements within the crystal lattice of such a substance caused by previous exposure to high-energy radiation. The intensity of the emission can be correlated to the length of time that a given substance was exposed to radiation; the longer the time allowed for the radiation to build up an inventory of trapped electrons, the greater the energy released.
Dating refers to the archaeological tool to date artefacts and sites, and to properly construct history. Based on a discipline of geology called stratigraphy, rock layers are used to decipher the sequence of historical geological events. Relative techniques can determine the sequence of events but not the precise date of an event, making these methods unreliable. These methods are based on calculating the date of artefacts in a more precise way using different attributes of materials.