Explain the process of thermoluminescence dating
For the high-precision radiometric laboratories (which use the decay-detection technique) a large sample and a long period of time to perform the count is required (Walker 2005: Section 2), limiting the usefulness to situations where these are not constraints.Whilst some quite precise dates are being produced by radiometric laboratories in Seattle, Groningen, and Belfast, with standard errors of around 20 years (Walker 2005: Section 2.3.2), the accuracy of the dates so obtained is dependent on the quality, purity and processing of the sample material. (2001) showed that the pre-treatment regime for sub-fossil insect remains had an impact on the resulting radiocarbon dates obtained from the samples (Figure 2 below).Source Walker 2005 Figure 2.5 It used to be the case, before mass spectrometry was invented, that a limitation of the applicability of radiocarbon dating was due to the large sample sizes required in order to obtain a statistically-valid count of the beta decay.
This is especially a problem with material that has been stored sub-optimally, handled with unclean hands, or treated with organic chemicals for conservation purposes (Pohl et al. Unlike dendrochronology, which relies on multiple correspondences to provide a solid chronology (as discussed later), radiocarbon dating has no inbuilt self-test mechanism, so errors of this sort are hard to detect and hard to quantify.alignments analysis Anglo-Saxon assumptions black-earth site bristol Bronze Age causewayed enclosure caves Cheddar Cirencester empathy environmental evolution of ideas fieldwork hilltop enclosure humanity industrial archaeology innovation interpreting the interpretations Iron Age LBA-EIA Transition long barrow mechanisms Medieval Mendips mesolithic midden neolithic nerding paleolithic post-medieval questions reading rock art Roman science surveying technological change trends in interpretation understanding urban archaeology Wales WANHS AFG Wiltshire This essay will consider both the inherent strengths and weaknesses of Radiocarbon dating and Dendrochronology, and also the ways in which these techniques can be applied inappropriately.