Methods dating artefacts
Below is our list of the top six of these techniques.
While each is valuable on its own, the future will lie in combining them – possibly one day creating a GPS-linked virtual reality that will take the observer below the ground.
Although, because of influences such as pollen transportation by wind for thousands of miles and the abundance of certain kinds of pollen, radiocarbon dating is necessary to give absolute dates.
Pollen dating is done by comparing the pollen zones in different rock layers or strata, comparing older, deeper layers to newer ones on top.
University of Bristol provides funding as a founding partner of The Conversation UK.
By looking at the sedimentary build up of pollen at the microscopic level, 400-1000x magnification, the pollen grains can be identified and the taxa concentrations determined, which can paint a picture of the climate as it changed over time.
Drones can take photographs in low light and in frost and snow conditions when the archaeology can better visualised.
One particular application is to mimic LIDAR, by taking overlapping vertical images, and with ground control (typically paper plates at fixed points) it is possible to generate three-dimensional point cloud imagery, using standard software packages.
Satellite imagery such as Google Earth, Microsoft’s Bing and Nasa’s World Wind has made it possible to zoom into even the most remote corners of the globe to locate sites.
By helping to spot things like settlement mounds or enclosures, it can help draw attention to places where such sites may be found.