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Courses / Modules / ARCH2036 Critical Chronologies: Archaeological dating

Critical Chronologies: Archaeological dating

When you'll study it
Semester 1
CATS points
15
ECTS points
7.5
Level
Level 5
Module lead
Alistair Pike

Module overview

The development of absolute dating methods has had the most profound effect on our understanding of the past. All self-respecting archaeologists should have a basic grounding in radiocarbon dating, but many other dating techniques exist and are appropriate for particular archaeological materials. As well as covering radiocarbon dating, the module covers most of the dating methods of relevance to archaeology from dendrochronology of historical wood back to K/Ar dating of early hominines. The scientific basis of each technique will be covered, but the main focus will be on the application of the dating methods to archaeology through examination of case studies. In particular we will look at how, why and when the scientists have got it wrong, and what archaeologists need to know to spot a dodgy date.

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