Advanced dating techniques
The style of the artefact and its archaeology location stratigraphically are required to arrive at a relative date.
For example, if an artefact, say an oil lamp, is found co-located on the same floor of a governor's dwelling, and that floor can be dated in archaeology terms by reason of the patterns employed in the mosaic, then it is assumed that in relation to the floor that the lamp is of the same age.
At the moment of death the C14 begins to decay at a rate that scientists already know from other experiments.
The missing amount can then determine how long it took to be lost and therefore date the object to a precise period.
Rocks, when formed by volcanic reaction or other cataclysmic event, contain a minute quantity of radioactive substance.
From the day of the rock's creation this radioactivity begins to deplete.
The greatest problem with dating an artefact from an archaeology site is that nearly every absolute dating process requires the destruction of at least a piece of the object in conducting the analysis.
Mostly used to date pottery in archaeology the method is very effective but costly.
Landslides and slips can completely change the topography of an entire archaeology site burying what was once on top by that which is much older, hence reversing the strata layers.
A more precise and accurate archaeology dating system is known as absolute dating and can in most circumstances provide a calendar year to the object.
When museums and collectors purchase archaeological items for their collections they enter an expensive and potentially deceptive commercial fine arts arena.
Healthy profits are to be made from illicitly plundered ancient sites or selling skillfully made forgeries.