Archaeology dating metal

In this relative dating method, Latin terms ante quem and post quem are usually used to indicate both the oldest and the most recent possible moments when an event occurred or an artifact was left in a stratum.But this method is also useful in many other disciplines.Chronological dating, or simply dating, is the process of attributing to an object or event a date in the past, allowing such object or event to be located in a previously established chronology.This usually requires what is commonly known as a "dating method".Their careful work revealed a clay jar standing a foot-and-a-half tall packed with 100 bronze ax heads dating to the Bronze Agemore than 3,000 years ago.The ax heads would have represented a tremendous amount of wealth at a time when bronze was in high demand for weapons and tools.Several dating methods exist, depending on different criteria and techniques, and some very well known examples of disciplines using such techniques are, for example, history, archaeology, geology, paleontology, astronomy and even forensic science, since in the latter it is sometimes necessary to investigate the moment in the past in which the death of a cadaver occurred.

Thus, 1587 is the post quem dating of Shakespeare's play Henry V.

Complicating the problem is the fact that most metal objects are composites of more than one type of metal, each type contributing its unique character to the whole.

Knowledge of the characteristics of various metals, when they were produced, and how they were used will help in identifying them (consult "Bibliography" for good sources of information).

" is one of the first and most frequent questions when an artifact is found.

As composition of an artifact is always related to its function, this information is fundamental to archaeological research.