Fifty years of obsidian hydration dating in archaeology

Dating is not necessary to demonstrate that evolution is a fact.Chronological sequence is all that is really required.'Typology has not been superseded, but radiocarbon dates have reduced the burden of prehistoric chronology that it was once made to carry (fig. Type-series remain an extremely useful means of describing and classifying artefacts of any period, and for understanding their technology and function.' (p. has been applied to finds from grave groups, strata, or other kinds of assemblages, whether found on individual sites or over a wider area. The first half of the twentieth century witnessed a similar transition that began with the dating of recent geological periods when early humans first lived, and ended with the introduction of radiocarbon dating.' (p.

There, you will find a brief description of the method, plus links to take you to other webpages with more extensive information.

Although with clever detective work many complex time sequences or relative ages can be deduced, the ability to show that objects at two separated sites were formed at the same time requires additional information.

A coin, vessel, or other common artifact could link two archaeological sites, but the possibility of recycling would have to be considered.

Obsidian hydration dating (OHD) is a geochemical method of determining age in either absolute or relative terms of an artifact made of obsidian.

Obsidian is a volcanic glass that was used by prehistoric people as a raw material in the manufacture of stone tools such as projectile points, knives, or other cutting tools through knapping, or breaking off pieces in a controlled manner.

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