After another 5,730 years only half of those 50 (or 25 carbon-14 atoms would remain.) Think of the red ink molecules slowly disappearing at the same rate.One day, about 5,000 years ago, most of the water suddenly drained from the pool.For periods without a historic record, attempts have been made to categorize tool kits, pottery styles, and architectural forms into regional timelines.Some ill-fated attempts to define time even attempted to count backwards through the genealogies of the Bible, establishing a series of dates which remain a cause of confusion.These various chronologies and their inherent inconsistencies, known as ‘relative dates,’ are a constant series of hurdles in the quest of historians and archaeologists to record mankind’s existence on earth.However, in the 1940s, the organization of time was transformed by the revelation of radiometric dating and the subsequent creation of a scientific chronology of humankind, known as ‘absolute dating’.In archaeology dating can be categorised into relative dating and absolute dating techniques.
In an earlier article for this Forum I discuss the scientific theory of radiocarbon dating and illustrate how it is a fallible scientific process, ridden with problems. In the early 1990s Marius S Ziolkowski, a Professor in Archaeology at Warsaw University, set out to bring together and catalogue a Radiocarbon Database for Bolivia Ecuador and Peru.
Archaeology can be defined as “the scientific study of the human past, of ancient human behaviour, from the earliest times right up to the present.”(Fagan, 2006) .