How do archaeologists use the concepts of "context" and "association" to interpret the activities that took place at a site? Why is there no simple correspondence between the distribution of artifacts in a site and human behavior? What factors other than human behavior must archaeologists consider when interpreting a site? What advantages does accelerator radiocarbon dating have over traditional methods of radiocarbon dating? How do archaeologists use plant remains to reconstruct past environments and diets? How can we tell the difference between human action and non-human action in the formation of archaeological faunal assemblages? Why are such distinctions important?.
Absolute dating Absolute dating techniques attempt to how archaeologists use a discrete, known interval in time such as a day, year, century, or millennia. Archeologists use several methods to establish absolute chronology including radiocarbon datingobsidian hydrationthermoluminescencedendrochronologyhistorical records, mean ceramic datingand pipe stem dating.
Radiocarbon dating Radiocarbon dating is a widely applied radiocarbon dating dating method in archeology. Radiocarbon dates can be obtained from many types of organic material including charcoal, shell, wood, bone and hair. Because the concentration of radiocarbon in the atmosphere has varied considerably over time, radiocarbon dates as far back as 7, years may be corrected by calibrating them against accurate dates from radiocarbon-dated tree rings and developing a master correction curve.
Archeologists use a statistical standard deviation to increase the range of dates for a sample that has been given a C14 date. Radiocarbon dates are usually calculated to one standard deviation. For example, if a sample is tested and given a radiocarbon date of BC.