Different types dating techniques used archaeology
They thought that sites which had the same kinds of pots and tools would be the same age.
The relative dating method worked very well, but only in sites which were had a connection to the relative scale. When radiocarbon dating was developed, it revolutionised archaeology, because it enabled them to more confidently date the past, and to build a more accurate picture of the human past.
One very important advancement was that it was discovered that the amount of C14 in nature is not constant.
This was corrected by radiocarbon dating of tree rings with a known calendar year date, using the very long-lived California bristlecone pine.
This is called calibration, and in general leads to the calibrated dates (in calendar years) being older than the uncalibrated dates (in C14 years).
Typological dating Typological dating used to be the only available absolute dating technique for archaeologists.
It was originally believed that the amount of C14 in nature was constant, i.e.
that the decrease of C14 by radioactive decay was replaced by the same amount of new C14 created in the atmosphere.
However, most of the finds from the ice cannot be dated by typology.
They are artefacts in organic materials and often unique – not found anywhere else. In the 1940ies, the American scientist Willard Libby developed a method for dating organic materials, so-called radiocarbon dating.
At the same time, very few of our finds from ice are younger than the Medieval Period.