Any method used to order time and to place events in the sequence in which they occurred. A sequential ordering that places cultural entities in temporal, and often spatial, distribution. It involves the collection of dates or successive datings establishing the position in time of a series of phenomena such as the phases of a civilization or the events of the history of a state. For periods or areas for which no textual evidence is available, relative chronologies have to be established and these are mostly based on pottery sequences and typology.
Relative chronology is also based on the application of the principles of stratigraphy and cross-dating. The discovery of inscribed monuments and calendars associated with dated astronomical observations contributed to the development of an Egyptian chronology and it has served as a framework -- through cross-dating -- for all other Near Eastern chronologies. Inscribed Egyptian objects found in Near Eastern contexts have allowed the latter to be dated. Absolute chronology is based on scientific methods such as radiocarbon dating , thermoluminescence dating , and archaeomagnetism.
Dates are often calibrated with dendrochronological dates. For dates after BC , an absolute chronology is not likely to change by more than ten years. The use of various methods, often multiple methods, to demonstrate the equivalency of stratigraphic units.
This term refers to the relation of one stratigraphical unit to another, by petrological, osteological, lithographic, cultural, chronological, or palaeontological means. For example, stratigraphic units may be correlated using palaeontological criteria, absolute dating methods, relative dating methods, cross-dating methods, and position relative to the glacial - interglacial cycle by examining physical and biological attributes.
Correlation of fossil inclusions is a principle of stratigraphy: The process by which an archaeologist determines dates for objects, deposits, buildings, etc. Relative dating , in which the order of certain events is determined, must be distinguished from absolute dating , in which figures in solar years often with some necessary margin of error can be applied to a particular event. Unless tied to historical records, dating by archaeological methods can only be relative -- such as stratigraphy , typology , cross-dating , and sequence dating.
Absolute dating , with some reservation, is provided by dendrochronology , varve dating , thermoluminescence , potassium-argon dating , and, most important presently, radiocarbon dating. Some relative dating can be calibrated by these or by historical methods to give a close approximation to absolute dates -- archaeomagnetism, obsidian hydration dating , and pollen analysis. Still others remain strictly relative -- collagen content , fluorine and nitrogen test, and radiometric assay.
The methods have varying applications, accuracy , range , and cost.
Many new techniques are being developed and tested. A British scholar and archaeologist who contributed much to the study of Greek archaeology with his excavations at the Minoan palace of Knossos. His first interest was in coins and hieroglyphic seals, and it was the latter which drew his attention to Crete. Using tree rings, scientists have estimated many local climates for hundreds to thousands of years previous.
Dendrochronology has become important to art historians in the dating of panel paintings. However, unlike analysis of samples from buildings, which are typically sent to a laboratory, wooden supports for paintings usually have to be measured in a museum conservation department, which places limitations on the techniques that can be used. In addition to dating, dendrochronology can also provide information as to the source of the panel.
Many Early Netherlandish paintings have turned out to be painted on panels of "Baltic oak" shipped from the Vistula region via ports of the Hanseatic League. Oak panels were used in a number of northern countries such as England, France and Germany. Wooden supports other than oak were rarely used by Netherlandish painters. Since panels of seasoned wood were used, an uncertain number of years has to be allowed for seasoning when estimating dates. Consequently, dating studies usually result in a " terminus post quem " earliest possible date, and a tentative date for the actual arrival of a seasoned raw panel using assumptions as to these factors.
However, dendrochronology revealed that the wood dated from the second half of the 16th century. It is now regarded as an original 16th-century painting by an unknown artist. On the other hand, dendrochronology was applied to four paintings depicting the same subject, that of Christ expelling the money-lenders from the Temple.
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The results showed that the age of the wood was too late for any of them to have been painted by Hieronymus Bosch. While dendrochronology has become an important tool for dating oak panels, it is not effective in dating the poplar panels often used by Italian painters because of the erratic growth rings in poplar. The 16th century saw a gradual replacement of wooden panels by canvas as the support for paintings, which means the technique is less often applicable to later paintings.
The dating of buildings with wooden structures and components is also done by dendrochronology; dendroarchaeology is the term for the application of dendrochronology in archaeology. While archaeologists can date wood and when it was felled, it may be difficult to definitively determine the age of a building or structure in which the wood was used; the wood could have been reused from an older structure, may have been felled and left for many years before use, or could have been used to replace a damaged piece of wood. The dating of building via dendrochronology thus requires knowledge of the history of building technology.
Herbchronology is the analysis of annual growth rings or simply annual rings in the secondary root xylem of perennial herbaceous plants. Similar seasonal patterns also occur in ice cores and in varves layers of sediment deposition in a lake, river, or sea bed. The deposition pattern in the core will vary for a frozen-over lake versus an ice-free lake, and with the fineness of the sediment. Sclerochronology is the study of algae deposits. Some columnar cactus also exhibit similar seasonal patterns in the isotopes of carbon and oxygen in their spines acanthochronology.
These are used for dating in a manner similar to dendrochronology, and such techniques are used in combination with dendrochronology, to plug gaps and to extend the range of the seasonal data available to archaeologists and paleoclimatologists. A similar technique is used to estimate the age of fish stocks through the analysis of growth rings in the otolith bones.
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Cross Dating | Definition of Cross Dating by Merriam-Webster
November Learn how and when to remove this template message. Archived from the original on William Heinemann, , Book V, p. University of Arizona Archived at the Wayback Machine. University of Arizona Press, , Chapter 3: History of Dendrochronology, pp. Leonardo da Vinci, Trattato della Pittura Sarton, George "Queries and Answers: Sarton also cites a diary of the French writer Michel de Montaigne , who in was touring Italy, where he encountered a carpenter who explained that trees form a new ring each year.
Studhalter , p. Twining "On the growth of timber — Extract of a letter from Mr. Charles Babbage "On the age of strata, as inferred from rings of trees embedded in them" Archived at the Wayback Machine. A Fragment , 2nd ed. John Murray, , pp. Archived at the Wayback Machine. Nicolaische Verlag, , p. Robert Clarke and Co. In other words, everyone. Test your vocabulary with our question quiz!
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