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Carbon dating methods archaeology

carbon dating methods archaeology-43

This decipherment, which enabled scholars to read the numerous writings left by the Egyptians, was the first great step forward in Egyptian archaeology.

Increasingly, many scientific techniques are used by the archaeologist, and he uses the scientific expertise of many persons who are not archaeologists in his work.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 and half humanity.This process has been brought to a very high standard of perfection, both in the marking of archaeological sites on ordinary topographical maps and in the production of special period maps.The distribution map of artifacts, especially when studied against the background of the natural environment, is a key method of archaeological study.There are now a very large number of scholarly journals in the field, as well as a considerable body of popularized books and journals that attempt to bridge the gap between professional and layman.

Some archaeologists call everything they do out-of-doors fieldwork, but others distinguish between fieldwork, in a narrower sense, and excavation.

Perhaps it is more accurate to say that the archaeologist is first a craftsman, practicing many specialized crafts (of which excavation is the most familiar to the general public), and then a historian.

The justification for this work is the justification of all historical scholarship: to enrich the present by knowledge of the experiences and achievements of our predecessors.

The most famous of these was at )—the oldest of the New World civilizations and probably the parent of all the others.

The enormous growth of archaeological work has meant the establishment of archaeology as an academic discipline; few important universities anywhere in the world are now without professors and departments of archaeology.

In his , Spain (1875–80), most experts refused to believe they were Paleolithic; but after similar discoveries at Les Eyzies in France around 1900, they were accepted as such and were recognized as one of the most surprising and exciting archaeological discoveries.