New dating techniques smithsonian


17-Jan-2020 15:54

It works on any carbonate substance, such as coral or limestone, and involves measuring the balance between a uranium isotope and the form of thorium that it decays into.The technology isn't new - it was first developed in the mid-twentieth century, and is often used in areas like geology and geochemistry.The new technique provides results similar to those obtained by radiocarbon dating, but using a completely new DNA-based approach that can complement radiocarbon dating or be used when radiocarbon dating is unreliable." This permits us to open a powerful window on our past.

"It is also shedding light on the reasons for its production - why do you get a sudden flourishing of cave art at certain periods?" The results so far are in line with archaeologists' hypothesis that sudden flowerings of cave art came as rapid climate change was causing Palaeolithic cultures to move quickly about Europe, first as the coldest period of the ice age approached, and then as the ice age drew to a close and inhabitable areas expanded.There have been surprises, though - in several caves whose art had previously been assumed to date from the same period, the new dating technique has revealed that the paintings were done in several phases, possibly over 15,000 years (25,000 years ago to just 10,000.) The dating method involves a technique called uranium series dating." Through this work, together with other projects that we are working on in the lab, we will be able to achieve a better understanding of the historical developments that took place from the beginning of the Neolithic period, with the introduction of farming practices in Europe, and throughout the Bronze and Iron Ages.

These periods include some of the most crucial events involving the population movements and replacements that shaped our world.A critical aspect of tracing migration events is dating them.



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