By Stephen E. Nash

Archaeologists with services in stratigraphy, ceramic relationship, obsidian hydration, and luminescence courting current old and nontechnical studies of the progress, improvement, and alertness in their innovations.

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Additional info for It's about time: a history of archaeological dating in North America

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1997; Lyman et al. 1998). There is evidence, however, that archaeologists' stimulus to chronological research came not from within their own quarters but rather from their anthropological colleagues. " Laufer wrote: "Chronology is at the root of the matter, being the nerve electrifying the dead body of history. It should be incumbent upon the American archaeologist to establish a chronological basis of the pre-Columbian cultures, and the American ethnologist should make it a point to bring chronology into the life and history of the pre-Columbian Indians" (Laufer 1913:577; see also Sapir 1916).

Stratigraphic dating and stratigraphic excavation are both pivotal concepts in the history of archaeology, even though they are not synonymous. Archaeologists typically do not learn the important history of stratigraphic dating during the course of their study. Textbooks emphasize that stratigraphy is important for relative dating but rarely offer information on the methods employed for stratigraphy or any other potential uses of stratigraphy. Students do not learn that stratigraphy means different things to different archaeologists and has been inconsistently applied throughout the history of archaeology.

Nash then examines the interpretive impact of archaeological tree-ring dating, the first absolute dating technique available to North American prehistorians. The third section offers histories of more highly technical and more recently developed dating techniques. R. E. Taylor offers insights on the impact of radiocarbon dating on archaeological method and theory. Jeffrey L. Eighmy provides an insider's view into the development of archaeomagnetic dating, and Charlotte Beck and George T. Jones discuss the applications and implications of obsidian hydration dating.

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