Dating techniques are procedures used by scientists to determine the age of an object or a series of events.
Absolute dates must agree with dates from other relative methods in order to be valid.The most widely used and accepted form of absolute dating is radioactive decay dating. Radioactive decay refers to the process in which a radioactive form of an element is converted into a nonradioactive product at a regular rate.Dendrochronology: Also known as tree-ring dating, the science concerned with determining the age of trees by examining their growth rings.Half-life: Measurement of the time it takes for one-half of a radioactive substance to decay.The older the pottery, the brighter the light that will be emitted.
Using thermoluminescence, pottery pieces as old as 100,000 years can be dated with precision. Known as dendrochronology (pronounced den-dro-crow-NOL-o-gee), tree-ring dating is based on the fact that trees produce one growth ring each year.The age of the remains of plants, animals, and other organic material can be determined by measuring the amount of carbon-14 contained in that material.Carbon-14, a radioactive form of the element carbon, is created in the atmosphere by cosmic rays (invisible, high-energy particles that constantly bombard Earth from all directions in space).If a certain kind of pollen is found in an archaeological site, scientists can check when the plant that produced that pollen lived to determine the relative age of the site.Absolute dating methods are carried out in a laboratory.Relative dating methods are used to determine only if one sample is older or younger than another.