Archaeologists use that assumption, called the law of superposition, to help determine a relative chronology for the site itself. Then, they use contextual clues and absolute dating techniques to help point to the age of the artifacts found in each layer.
What are three ways that archaeologists can date artifacts?
Archeologists use several methods to establish absolute chronology including radiocarbon dating, obsidian hydration, thermoluminescence, dendrochronology, historical records, mean ceramic dating, and pipe stem dating.
How do archaeologists date bones?
Radiocarbon dating (also referred to as carbon dating or carbon-14 dating) is a method for determining the age of an object which contains organic material by using the properties of radiocarbon, a radioactive isotope of carbon. Archaeologists often use this method to date organic remains (e.g. human or animal bone).
Is it legal to own artifacts?
While its legal to own artifacts, its illegal to buy, sell, trade, import, or export burial, sacred or cultural objects, and other historical artifacts that were obtained by violating laws against digging on sites, collecting on public lands without a permit, or disturbing graves.
How can you tell how old an artifact is?
Perhaps the most famous absolute dating technique, radiocarbon dating was developed during the 1940s and relies on chemistry to determine the ages of objects. Used on organic matter, the technique measures the amount of radioactive carbon decay to determine an objects age.