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    Forms of dating artifacts

    has become known for his study of the garbage discarded by the people of Tuscon, Arizona in the 1970s!

    Over the past 150 years archaeologists have developed many effective methods and techniques for studying the past.

    Archaeologists also rely upon methods from other fields such as history, botany, geology, and soil science.

    In this section of Methods of Gathering Data you will learn how archaeologists gather and analyze information by utilizing historical research techniques, field methods for data recovery, and laboratory analyses.

    If the area was inhabited during historical times (in the past several hundred years in North America) the archaeologist will look for primary historical documents associated with the study area.

    History, anthropology, and archaeology are three distinct but closely related bodies of knowledge that tell man of his present by virtue of his past.

    Relative dating of a site's stratigraphy often depends on the absolute dating of excavated materials and artifacts.

    One of the most widely used methods of determining the absolute date of organic materials is radiocarbon (carbon 14) dating .

    Because all living organisms contain a radioactive form of carbon (carbon 14) that decays at a known and steady rate, archaeologists can determine an organic object's age (if it is less than 40,000 years old) by measuring the amount of carbon 14 remaining in the object.

    Historians can tell what cultures thrived in different regions and when they disintegrated.

    Anthropologists can describe a people’s physical character, culture, and environmental and social relations.

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