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absolute dating

Overview page. Subjects: Archaeology — Environmental Science.

A range of methods for determining the absolute age of an object or material, for example using radiometric dating which measures the decay product produced by radioactive decay in...

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accelerator mass spectrometry

Overview page. Subjects: Archaeology — Ecology and Conservation.

(AMS)

A technique for radiocarbon dating in which a cyclotron is used to measure directly the number of 14C atoms or the proportion of 14C to 12C and 13C atoms in the sample....

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adit

Overview page. Subjects: Environmental Science — Archaeology.

A more or less horizontal tunnel from a hillside into an underground mine, open to the surface at one end, that is used for access or drainage.

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aeolian deposit

Overview page. Subjects: Environmental Science — Archaeology.

[De]

Wind‐blown sediments characteristic of relatively dry periods, e.g. interpluvials or glacials with low precipitation. Aeolian deposits can easily bury sites and create well‐...

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alidade

Overview page. Subjects: Archaeology — Astronomy and Astrophysics.

A simple sighting device for measuring altitudes. It consists of a bar pivoted so as to swing in a vertical plane and be aligned with a celestial object. The object's altitude can then be...

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amino-acid racemization

Overview page. Subjects: Chemistry — Archaeology.

[Te]

A biological dating method used on human and animal bone and carbonate shells. Within living organisms amino acids are molecularly structured in what is known as the L‐isomer...

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Andrew Ellicott Douglass

Overview page. Subjects: Science and Mathematics — Archaeology.

(1867–1962) [Bi]

American astronomer at the University of Arizona in Tucson who was responsible for developing the technique of  dendrochronology as a dating method. He began his...

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antiquity

Overview page. Subjects: Environmental Science — Archaeology.

The collective name for prehistoric and historic artefacts, objects, structures, ruins, sites, and monuments that have some cultural or scientific significance and are considered to be...

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antler

Overview page. Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences — Archaeology.

Bony growths borne on the heads of deer (Cervidae). Antlers are shed each year at the end of the rut and regrown the following year, producing more branches with each year. The antlers are...

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Archaic and transitional hominins

in Human Evolution

November 2005; p ublished online September 2013 .

Chapter. Subjects: Archaeology; Biological Sciences; Human Evolution. 3512 words.

‘Archaic and transitional hominins’ deals with creatures that almost certainly belong to the hominin clade, but which are still far from resembling modern humans. These hominins share more...

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