Types of Relative Dating
Chronology and Dating
The Law of Superposition
Deposits, whether of natural or cultural origin, form with the oldest on the bottom of th
We can say:
X is older/younger than Y
We cannot say:
X is 100 years old
X is 500 years older than Y
We may be able to say:
X is contemporary with Y
(but we cannot specify precisely how contemporary)
We can say:
X is older/young
Modern archaeology took root in the 19th century with the acceptance of three key
the great antiquity of humanity
Darwins principle of evolution
the Three Age System for ordering material culture.
This was followed by a long phase of consolidati
Few sites, scant hominid fossils
Identified remains not H. erectus
1.2 - .8 mya
No longer a fresh water lake nearby
Red sediments formed by freshwater streams draining across flats into saline lake
East African Hominid Sites
Brief Review of Potassium/Argon Dating
Small but regular proportion is the radioactive isotope 40K.
Decays to Argon 40 (an inert gas)
Half life 1.3 billion years.
In formation of igneous rock through volcanic activity, all 40A d
Discovering the Early Civilizations
Ancient Egyptian civilization had been discovered after Napoleons military
expedition in 1798-1800
of his soldiers discovered the Rosetta Stone that provided
understanding to Egyptian hieroglyphic writing
The Development of Field Techniques
Augustus Lane-Fox Pitt-Rivers brought experience of military methods
and precision for organized excavations in southern England
sections and even models were made which was all recorded
was concerned abou
Cross dating is the process by which the presence (or association) of an object of
known age is used to establish the date of an unknown artifact or deposit.
Worsaaes Law of Association
Objects found together in the same closed deposit are of
Archaeology of Early Hominids
What are the changing Capabilities of the evolving Hominids?
Tool manufacture and usage
Known among primates, how different among hominids.
Hunter? Gatherer? Scavenger?
The Rise of Archaeological Science
After World War II, the application to archaeology of the physical and
chemical sciences were rapidly developed
In 1949, Willard Libby invented radiocarbon dating which was the first
opportunity to directly determine the