Dating methods in archaeology

Time has always been an enigma somehow understandable to the individual but incomprehensible and unexplainable to others.With the advent of high civilization, time was ordered by the actions of leaders, and a number of king’s lists have survived in the written record to assist the modern scholar in the very difficult task of attaching dates to events of the near-distant past.

But when the rock is exposed to high enough levels of heat or light, that exposure causes vibrations in the mineral lattices and the trapped electrons are freed.Minerals—and, in fact, everything on our planet—are exposed to cosmic radiation: luminescence dating takes advantage of the fact that certain minerals both collect and release energy from that radiation under specific conditions.Crystalline rock types and soils collect energy from the radioactive decay of cosmic uranium, thorium, and potassium-40.Two forms of luminescence dating are used by archaeologists to date events in the past: thermoluminescence (TL) or thermally stimulated luminescence (TSL), which measures energy emitted after an object has been exposed to temperatures between 400 and 500°C; and optically stimulated luminescence (OSL), which measures energy emitted after an object has been exposed to daylight.To put it simply, certain minerals (quartz, feldspar, and calcite), store energy from the sun at a known rate.

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