While many people know that they can tell how old a tree is by counting its rings, not everyone’s aware that they can use this same method to date archaeological sites going back tens of thousands of years!
Have you ever wondered how archaeologists know how old an object is? That is the question I tried to answer in this article for StoneAgeMan, and I quickly learned that there are many dating methods, each with their own particularities. I thus decided to spend several posts exploring the various dating techniques, with this first article focused on relative and radiocarbon dating methods.
Contrary to how it may seem in movies and television shows, archaeological excavations do not consist of frantically digging in the desert while fighting Nazis or chasing aliens. What they do involve is precision: precision, detailed measurements, patience, painstaking documentation, and plenty of banter. Archaeological excavation methods are the topic of this article for StoneAgeMan.
This article was my third for the science, philosophy, and survival website, StoneAgeMan. It describes archaeological survey techniques; or, in normal person language, how archaeologists know where to dig.
This is my second article for StoneAgeMan. It tells the story behind the Three-Age System – the Stone, Bronze, Iron Age classifications of human prehistory – and briefly describes what each age entails.