Archaeological Dating

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Archaeological Dating


the determination of the chronology of events studied from archaeological data. Two systems of archaeological dating are used: absolute and relative chronology. Absolute chronology dates events in terms of the generally accepted calendar; relative chronology determines only the sequence of events. Relative dates are established by stratigraphy and by the typological method. The stratigraphic method, which observes the sequence of earth strata containing artifacts, makes it possible to attribute each stratum to a definite epoch. Usually, the deeper the stratum, the older it is. The typological method is based on the fact that the types of objects and the material from which they were made were different in various historic epochs. The transition from relative to absolute chronology is possible when undated objects are found together with objects whose time of manufacture is known or with coins or inscriptions and when studies are made of remains that have been dated from written sources. Methods borrowed from the natural sciences are also used for dating objects of prehistoric epochs. These methods include dating by deposits of varved clays; dendrochronology, which examines the annual tree rings found in archaeological remains; radiocarbon dating based on the amount of 14C in organic remains; the paleo-magnetic method, which determines the residual magnetization in clay pottery exposed to kilning; and chemical and other methods.


Arkheologiia i estestvennye nauki. Moscow, 1965.
Mongait, A. L. Arkheologiia i sovremennost’. Moscow, 1963.
Zeuner, F. E. Dating the Past, 4th ed. London, 1958.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
They challenge Jericho's stratigraphy, which they believe is largely built on the basis of the works of Flavius Josephus and not solely on that of archaeological dating criteria.
Sean's Bar says the archaeological dating of the walls of the current building indicates people have been enjoying a drink there since 900AD.
So far the four teachers have given their two-student class a geologic tour of the UO campus, introduced them to techniques of archaeological dating and talked about some of the many things they've learned at the museum.
'Someone just got a bit of linen,' Professor Edward Hall of the Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit was reported to have said, 'faked it up and flogged it.' In the case of the Kirkwall Scroll, the same process of archaeological dating dismissed the Scroll at the first sampling as a modern fraud.

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