History of archaeological dating

Posted by / 11-Feb-2020 03:40

Radiocarbon dating was invented in the late 1940's, and within a few decades, it was discovered that while the dates retrieved from the method have a sound, repeatable progression, they are not a one-to-one match with calendar years.Most importantly, researchers discovered that radiocarbon dates are affected by the amount of carbon in the atmosphere, which has fluctuated greatly in the past for both natural and human-caused reasons (such as the invention of iron smelting, the Industrial Revolution, and the invention of the combustion engine).No doubt there have always been people who were interested in the material remains of the past, but archaeology as a discipline has its earliest origins in 15th- and 16th-century Europe, when the Renaissance Humanists looked back upon the glories of Greece and Rome.Popes, cardinals, and noblemen in Italy in the 16th century began to collect antiquities and to sponsor excavations to find more works of ancient art.It was more like what would be called art collecting today.Greeks and Romans and first developed in 18th-century Italy with the excavations of the Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum.

Conze was the first person to include photographs in the publication of his report.The artifacts he studies must often be studied in their environmental contexts, and botanists, zoologists, soil scientists, and geologists may be brought in to identify and describe plants, animals, soils, and rocks.Radioactive carbon dating, which has revolutionized much of archaeological chronology, is a by-product of research in atomic physics.Petrie developed a systematic method of excavation, the principles of which he summarized in Mesopotamian archaeology also began with hectic digging into mounds in the hopes of finding treasure and works of art, but gradually these gave way in the 1840s to planned digs such as those of the Frenchman Henry Creswicke Rawlinson became the first man to decipher the Mesopotamian cuneiform writing.Toward the end of the 19th century, systematic excavation revealed a previously unknown people, the Sumerians, who had lived in Mesopotamia before the Babylonians and Assyrians.

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Writing began 5,000 years ago in Mesopotamia and Egypt; its beginnings were somewhat later in India and China, and later still in Europe.

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