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Relative and absolute dating techniques in anthropology

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Absolute dating is the process of determining an age on a specified chronology in archaeology and geology. Some scientists prefer the terms chronometric or calendar datingas use of the word "absolute" implies an unwarranted Relative and absolute dating techniques in anthropology of accuracy.

In archaeology, absolute dating is usually based on the physical, chemical, and life properties of the materials of artifacts, buildings, or other items that have been modified by humans and by historical associations with materials with known dates coins and written history. Techniques include tree rings in Relative and absolute dating techniques in anthropology, radiocarbon dating of wood or bones, and trapped-charge dating methods such as thermoluminescence dating of glazed ceramics.

In historical geologythe primary methods of absolute dating involve using the radioactive decay of elements trapped in rocks or minerals, including isotope systems from very young radiocarbon dating with 14 C to systems such as uranium—lead dating that allow acquisition of absolute ages for some of the oldest rocks on earth.

Radiometric dating is based on the known and constant rate of decay of radioactive isotopes into their radiogenic daughter isotopes. Particular isotopes are suitable for different applications due to the type of atoms present in the mineral or other material and its approximate age. For example, techniques based on isotopes with half lives in the thousands of years, such as Carbon, cannot be used to date materials that have ages on the order of billions of years, as the detectable amounts of the radioactive atoms and their decayed daughter isotopes will be too small to measure within the uncertainty of the instruments.

One of the most widely used and well-known absolute dating techniques is carbon or radiocarbon dating, which is used to date organic remains.

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This is a radiometric technique since it is based on radioactive decay. Carbon moves up the food chain as animals eat plants and as predators eat other animals.

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