All self-respecting archaeologists should have a basic grounding in radiocarbon dating, but many other dating techniques exist and are appropriate for particular archaeological materials. As well as covering radiocarbon dating, the module covers most of the dating methods of relevance to archaeology from dendrochronology of historical wood back to K/Ar dating of early hominines. Chronometric dating, also known as chronometry or absolute dating, is any archaeological dating method that gives a result in calendar years before the present time.Archaeologists and scientists use absolute dating methods on samples ranging from prehistoric fossils to artifacts from relatively recent history.These include an outline of radioactive processes, the measurement of radioactivity, dealing with errors, accuracy and precision. Each week a number of students will present a seminar on specific chronological issues which will be followed by a discussion. Electron Spin Resonance Dating (ESR): Fossil teeth are a ubiquitous component of prehistoric sites, and as a consequence, ESR dating of tooth enamel is very widely applicable in archaeology and palaeoanthropology. Since publication of the first papers on dating of sites in Israel (Schwarcz et al., 1988; Schwarcz et al., 1989) electron spin resonance (ESR) dating of tooth enamel has been recognized as a useful tool for chronometric dating in the time range beyond the 40 ka limit of radiocarbon and up to at least 2 Ma (Schwarcz et al.
• What are the specific advantages of archaeomagnetic dating over radiocarbon? Before this, archaeologists and scientists relied on deductive dating methods, such as comparing rock strata formations in different regions.Chronometric dating has advanced since the 1970s, allowing far more accurate dating of specimens.The scientific basis of each technique will be covered, but the main focus will be on the application of the dating methods to archaeology through examination of case studies. In particular we will look at how, why and when the scientists have got it wrong, and what archaeologists need to know to spot a dodgy date.• Convey the principles and practical applications of scientific dating methods in archaeology • Outline sources of uncertainty and inaccuracy in dates to enable you to apply principles of chronological hygiene and extract reliable chronologies from published data • Explore the key chronological issues and controversies in archaeology Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of: The module begins with an introduction of the key concepts. Radiation Exposure Dating Methods: Absolute dating by electron spin resonance (ESR), thermoluminescence (TL) , and optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) methods is widely applicable in geology, geomorphology, palaeogeography and archaeology.