Relative dating methods in archaeology


Carbon dating discovered in 1955, proved very helpful for establishing absolute dating in various archaeological sites.Potassium-Argon (K40) method extends the range of absolute dating beyond the limit of radio-carbon.Amino Acid Racemisation, a method of absolute dating applied to human fossils is developed very recently.This is based on the fact that all living organisms have L-amino acid in their protein and after death, and over a long period of time all the L-amino acids except glycine undergo change called racemisation and became non protein D-amino acid.Amino Acid Racemisation (AAR) is a useful comparative dating method with great potential, but it introduces problems of calibration and the requirement of an intimate knowledge of the palaeoenvironmental conditions of the bone deposition site.Table-1: The hominid fossil record is extremely fragmentary, and chronology is essential in unravelling the complex record of human development.Therefore outside Scandinavia it is difficult to find continuous sequence of varves reaching the present.



Archaeologists use several methods to assign ages to events of the past.Such treatment are used to create etch pits of optical size, each one making a single fission site.The method requires sufficient uranium to produce a track density, which can be counted within reasonable time.First, it is because varve accumulation occurs only to glacial areas of the world.

Second, many of the Pleistocene glacial areas has receded nowadays and affecting the supply of sediments.

According to the Dictionary of Anthropology, the word chronology means the science of computing dates or treaties showing arrangement of events with dates.