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0582493099 - Science-based Dating in Archaeology Longman Archaeology Series by Aitken, M J
archaeology | National Geographic Society
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.
The goals of archaeology are to document and explain the origins and development of human culture, understand culture history, chronicle cultural evolution, and study human behavior and ecology, for both prehistoric and historic societies. Site survey is the attempt to systematically locate features of interest, such as houses and middens, within a site. Archaeological excavation existed even when the field was still the domain of amateurs, and it remains the source of the majority of data recovered in most field projects. It can reveal several types of information usually not accessible to survey, such as stratigraphy, three-dimensional structure, and verifiably primary context.
Archaeological science , also known as archaeometry , consists of the application of scientific techniques to the analysis of archaeological materials, to assist in dating the materials. It is related to methodologies of archaeology. However, Smith rejects both concepts of archaeological science because neither emphasize falsification or a search for causality.