Types of dating methods in archaeology
The layer of hydrated obsidian is visible when a slice of the artifact is examined under an optical microscope at a magnification of x 500. The land was poor for agriculture, but marine resources were exploited and the small center was quite wealthy.Hydration varies geographically, and several factors such as climate, chemical environment, and physical abrasion also affect the thickness of the layer, so that most studies are locally or regionally based. There is evidence of long-distance contact with Teotihuacan before it was abandoned, like other Maya ceremonial centers, c 900 AD. The area was also important for sources of obsidian, which was exploited from the Upper Palaeolithic onwards and was extensively traded in the Neolithic.Chemical analysis of their trace elements now allows most of the sources to be distinguished (especially by neutron activation and x-ray fluorescence spectrometry), so that the pattern of trade spreading out from each can be traced.Two dating methods have been applied to obsidian: it generally went out of favor for everyday purposes (perhaps as a result of competition from metal tools) but it continued to be used for prestige objects in some areas, especially by the Minoans and Mycenaeans.Obsidian was already being traded and flint tools were made.The earliest known domesticated cattle date from about 6000 ) in Greece, in association with cultivated einkorn, emmer wheat, and barley, millet, lentils.
The facility to correlate an event or episode with an absolute point in time is crucial in solving many archaeological problems.
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The hydration layer is caused by absorption of water on exposed surfaces of the rock.
The surface of obsidian starts to absorb water as soon as it is exposed by flaking during manufacture of an artifact.