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Based on a discipline of geology called stratigraphy, rock layers are used to decipher the sequence of historical geological events.

Relative techniques can determine the sequence of events but not the precise date of an event, making these methods unreliable.

Part 8 Amino acid racemization, obsidian hydration, other chemical methods.

Part 9 Magnetic dating and magnetostratigraphy: the Earth's magnetic field; recording mechanisms - thermoremanent magnetism (TRM)k viscous remanent magnetism (VRM), sediments (DRM, PDRM CRM); sampling and measurement; the magnetic polarity timescale (reversal stratigraphy); archaeomagnetism - the Fisher index.

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Part 5 Potassium-argon, uranium-series, fission tracts. Part 6 Luminescence dating: thermoluminescence (TL); paleodose and annual dose; on-site procedures; laboratory measurements - Alpha counting, Beta TLD, alkali feldspar - the isochron technique, zircon dating; accuracy and error limits, date citation, age range; authenticity testing; beyond pottery - burnt flint, burnt stones, unburnt materials - calcite, shell, bone and teeth; optical dating - dating of mineral fractions from Viking pottery fragments, dating of the church of Santa maria Foris Portas, Lombardy, Italy.

Part 7 Electron spin resonance (ESR): radioactivity and annual dose; applications - stalagmitic calcite, travertine, tooth enamel.

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Once you heat this item again using high temperatures, the trapped electrons become excited and recombine with the item’s material.

Part 1 Generalities: the impact of scientific techniques; absolute dating and derivative dating; the event being dated; reasons for dating; which technique? Part 2 Climatic clocks and frameworks: climate-based frameworks; the oxygen-isotope timescale - the Milankovitch astronomical theory of climate; the pollen record (palynology) - late-glacial and postglacial dating in NW Europe, pollen assemblage zones (PAZ), correlation with the oxygen-isotope timescale - La Grand Pile, Les Echets; varve chronology - the Scandianavian varbe chronology, the Lake of Clouds, Minnesota; dendrochronology (tree-ring dating - the European oak and bristlecone pine chronology.

Part 3 Radiocarbon dating: the essential basis; the carbon exchange reservoir; concentration ration variations - past millennia; recent, man-made disturbances; other cosmogenic isotopes - calcium -41; the two approaches - beta activity and atom counting - accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS); effect of contamination; samples and sampling - wood, bone, shell, sediments and soild, peat, mortar, stalagmites etc; step towards a calendar date; beyond calibration.

This method has the following restrictions: a) It cannot be used to date items many thousands of years old; b) it can only be used in non-organic materials; and c) the materials to be dated must have been heated to more than 350 degrees Celsius. All of the current dating methods are going through refinement.

Archaeologists are seeking an accurate dating technique, but this method is yet to be found.

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