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Absolute chronometric dating methods

Others measure the subatomic particles that are emitted as an isotope decays.Some measure the decay of isotopes more indirectly.Plotting several curves can allow the archaeologist to develop a relative chronology for an entire site or group of sites.For detailed information about how seriation works, see Seriation: A Step by Step Description.Because of the fairly fast decay rate of carbon-14, it can only be used on material up to about 60,000 years old.

Because of their unique decay rates, different elements are used for dating different age ranges.Archaeologists use many different techniques to determine the age of a particular artifact, site, or part of a site.Two broad categories of dating or chronometric techniques that archaeologists use are called relative and absolute dating.All radiometric dating methods measure isotopes in some way.Most directly measure the amount of isotopes in rocks, using a mass spectrometer.

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Sedimentary rock is made of particles derived from other rocks, so measuring isotopes would date the original rock material, not the sediments they have ended up in.

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