Absolute and relative dating in archaeology
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) .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).This basically involves ordering things into sequences.Scientific archaeologists grasped at this rather quickly, although it wasn’t used as a consistent technique until around the turn of the nineteenth century.
He used this method to establish order in large Egyptian graves. “First, the assumed that pottery styles gradually become more popular, reach peak of popularity, and then fade away.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.Seriation is a very common form of archaeological interpretation. With the assumption that artefacts changed with passing time in radical ways, archaeologist use seriation techniques to place artefacts in chronological order.Seriation is the changing of style of an object over time.
The study of archaeology as an academic discipline is dependant on the accuracy of various dating methods.