Define relative dating techniques
This concept called the (the date after which) is of particular importance to archaeologists dealing with the historic period. Exercises: Ask the students to exchange their items with others in the class to guess their use. Exercises: Level I (earliest): pictures of fire blackened rocks in a rough circle suggesting a hearth; scattered stone tools; and scattered animal bones and fruit pits.These artifacts suggest a people who hunt and gather for a living; who own few material possessions, suggesting mobility; and who have mastered the use of fire and tool making.Your local archeologist may be able to furnish suitable materials, or the sequences in the publications listed below may be used for illustration. Then ask the students to arrange them in sets according to distinctive characteristics. Who made it, a specialized craftsman or an ordinary member of the society?
The time line generated by your students will introduce them to the important concept of stratigraphy, as well as to the goal of archaeology: to reconstruct past lifeways and place them in a chronological framework in order to better understand the present. This technique dates a site based on the relative frequency of types of artifacts whose dates of use or manufacture are known. The kinds of questions they should ask are: Is it made of wood, paper, cloth, metal, pottery? Is it for personal care, decoration, or amusement, or does it have a utilitarian purpose? Were the materials used in its manufacture from the local area or from far away? The categories for classification will be suggested by the objects in the assemblage.
Dating methods, such as radiocarbon dating, dendro-chronology or tree-ring dating, and potassium-argon dating, that may furnish an date for an archaeological site, are a contribution of the physical and the natural sciences.
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