Thermoluminescence dating archaeology

For each dating or chronological method there is a link in the box at right to take you to that section of this page.

There, you will find a brief description of the method, plus links to take you to other webpages with more extensive information.

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The high number of smelters and quantity of terracottas suggested he had found evidence of a dense, settled population.The radiocarbon dating method is based on the fact that radiocarbon is constantly being created in the atmosphere by the interaction of cosmic rays with atmospheric nitrogen.The resulting radiocarbon combines with atmospheric oxygen to form radioactive carbon dioxide, which is incorporated into plants by photosynthesis; animals then acquire in a sample from a dead plant or animal such as a piece of wood or a fragment of bone provides information that can be used to calculate when the animal or plant died.Fagg, a man of boundless curiosity and energy, traveled across central Nigeria looking for similar artifacts.As he recounted later, Fagg discovered local people had been finding terracottas in odd places for yearsburied under a hockey field, perched on a rocky hilltop, protruding from piles of gravel released by power-hoses in tin mining. He later dated the scarecrow headnow called the Jemaa Head after the village where it was foundto about 500 B. using a process called thermoluminescence which gauges the time since baked clay was fired.

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