Non radiometric chronometric dating techniques

28-Jun-2017 12:01

The editors of this distinguished series are Martin J. New methods of dating artifacts and archaeological contexts have developed rapidly since the so-called "radiocarbon revolution" which took place shortly after the Second World War.The editors recognize that because of the increasing complexity of many of the dating techniques, it is no longer possible for one or even a few authors to assemble and assess adequately the ever-increasing literature and the current directions of research for more than one or two of the techniques.Organizationally, the volume includes an editorial introduction and a preface, twelve topical chapters (varying from 24 to 44 pages in length), and contains 107 figures, 21 tables, and a five-page double-column index.Each chapter assesses a basic archaeometric technique and each has separate references--a total of 1,307 entries--so that every contribution stands by itself as a very useful synthesis.In the main, each contribution is structured similarly, beginning with an abstract, followed by a brief historical overview, and a discussion of how the technique "works" (including, in most instances, complex physical science discussions and/or mathematical formulae).The types of materials or contexts that are dated, potential sources of error or contamination, and results are also considered.

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Lastly, there is a conclusion that incorporates a general discussion about this volume and its relationship to similar works and the current status of chronometric or "time placement" dating.

The review you are about to read comes to you courtesy of H-Net -- its reviewers, review editors, and publishing staff.

If you appreciate this service, please consider donating to H-Net so we can continue to provide this service free of charge. Translate this review into As a practicing archaeologist who has been cross trained in several of the physical sciences and taught archaeological field methods and laboratory analyses at the university level, I approached an assessment of this work with great anticipation and, at the same time, hesitant caution.

In essence, the reader is exposed to a history of the refinement of a scientific procedure.

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All of the chapters present several examples or practical applications that demonstrate the utility of the technique.

Chronometric dating can rely upon: 1) historic or written records, 2) non-radiometric scientific studies (such as tree ring, thermoluminescence, or obsidian hydration dating techniques), 3) radiometric analyses (radiocarbon and potassium-argon dating, for example, which rely upon the decay of unstable parent isotopes into stable daughter forms), and 4) biochemical analyses (notably by amino acid dating or isoleucine racemization). (Erv) Taylor is currently Professor of Anthropology and a Research Anthropologist in the Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics, but also serves as the Director of the Radiocarbon Laboratory at the University of California at Riverside.

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