Different dating methods archaeology

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And, outside of certain periods in our past, there simply were no chronologically dated objects, or the necessary depth and detail of history that would assist in chronologically dating civilizations.

Without those, the archaeologists were in the dark as to the age of various societies. The use of tree ring data to determine chronological dates, dendrochronology, was first developed in the American southwest by astronomer Andrew Ellicott Douglass.

His research culminated in proving that tree ring width varies with annual rainfall.

Not only that, it varies regionally, such that all trees within a specific species and region will show the same relative growth during wet years and dry years.

In 1901, Douglass began investigating tree ring growth as an indicator of solar cycles.

Douglass believed that solar flares affected climate, and hence the amount of growth a tree might gain in a given year.Absolute dating, the ability to attach a specific chronological date to an object or collection of objects, was a breakthrough for archaeologists.Until the 20th century, with its multiple developments, only relative dates could be determined with any confidence.In 1929, they found a charred log near Show Low, Arizona, that connected the two patterns.It was now possible to assign a calendar date to archaeological sites in the American southwest for over 1000 years.Since the turn of the century, several methods to measure elapsed time have been discovered.

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