Dating of archaeological sites

If we knew the precise length of reign for every Egyptian king, chronology would be no problem.However, we do not even know the number of kings for all periods, and there is also the possibility that reigns overlapped by coregency or in times of political disunity.Aerial Photography - The various techniques of taking photographs of natural or cultural features from the air, using balloons, airplanes, satellites, and other sources, in order to study the features in their entirety from a top-down (bird's eye) view.

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Based on a discipline of geology called stratigraphy, rock layers are used to decipher the sequence of historical geological events.Relative techniques can determine the sequence of events but not the precise date of an event, making these methods unreliable.The scholar most associated with the rules of stratigraphy (or law of superposition) is probably the geologist Charles Lyell.The basis for stratigraphy seems quite intuitive today, but its applications were no less than earth-shattering to archaeological theory.On the one level, events and individuals are placed in an absolute chronology: the exact years and sometimes even months and days of the events and biographies are known.

On the other level, the exact years may not be known, but it is known that one feature is earlier or later in relation to another; this is typically the case on an excavation, where the different archaeological strata allow objects found to be placed in a relative historical framework.More flakes were knocked off from both sides of a stone and there is evidence that the maker had a preconceived notion of the tool's final form.Acropolis - The "high point" or citadel of an ancient Greek city, like the Acropolis in Athens.In other words, artifacts found in the upper layers of a site will have been deposited more recently than those found in the lower layers.Cross-dating of sites, comparing geologic strata at one site with another location and extrapolating the relative ages in that manner, is still an important dating strategy used today, primarily when sites are far too old for absolute dates to have much meaning.The dating of remains is essential in archaeology, in order to place finds in correct relation to one another, and to understand what was present in the experience of any human being at a given time and place.