Direct vs indirect dating archaeology

On the other hand, remains as recent as a hundred years old can also be the target of archaeological dating methods.

It was the case of an 18th-century sloop whose excavation was led in South Carolina (United States) in 1992.

But this method is also useful in many other disciplines.

Historians, for example, know that Shakespeare's play Henry V was not written before 1587 because Shakespeare's primary source for writing his play was the second edition of Raphael Holinshed's Chronicles, not published until 1587.

Thus, from the oldest to the youngest, all archaeological sites are likely to be dated by an appropriate method.

Dating material drawn from the archaeological record can be made by a direct study of an artifact, or may be deduced by association with materials found in the context the item is drawn from or inferred by its point of discovery in the sequence relative to datable contexts.

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Chronological dating, or simply dating, is the process of attributing to an object or event a date in the past, allowing such object or event to be located in a previously established chronology.

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2) that I and a colleague had produced in an experiment a decade earlier (Keyser and Rubiega 1999: 130-132)." (Keyser 2007)While experimental archaeology such as the project Keyser reported in 1999 cannot prove that something was definitely done in a particular way, it can prove that something might have been done that way.

Dating is carried out mainly post excavation, but to support good practice, some preliminary dating work called "spot dating" is usually run in tandem with excavation.

Dating is very important in archaeology for constructing models of the past, as it relies on the integrity of dateable objects and samples.

The same inductive mechanism is applied in archaeology, geology and paleontology, by many ways.

For example, in a stratum presenting difficulties or ambiguities to absolute dating, paleopalynology can be used as a relative referent by means of the study of the pollens found in the stratum.

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