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Dating artifacts important

Archaeologists today collaborate with descendants of Native American peoples, and with African American communities who are only a few generations removed from the lives of their enslaved or free ancestors, to better understand the cultural traditions of their pasts.Archaeologists working on the 19th century Levi Jordan Plantation in Texas have interviewed descendants of both the plantation owners and the enslaved plantation workers as part of their research.

Now get ready to take an electronic field trip back in time to Castle Rock Pueblo in AD 1200 and solve a mystery while you are there.Open this History Toolkit to learn more about investigating the past with primary sources.In addition to primary historical documents, archaeologists will look for site reports that have been prepared by other archaeologists who have studied this area.These archaeologists hope to include the “voices’ and perspectives of all of the past peoples who lived and worked on this plantation into their research.They have created the Levi Jordan web site to share this information with the public and to allow the public to communicate with the archaeologists.These reports will describe what was found in this area during any previous archaeological investigations and will help guide the new research.

Documentation files for all of the recorded prehistoric and historic sites in each state are maintained in the State Historic Preservation Office, along with archaeological research reports pertaining to sites in the state.

Carbon-14, or radiocarbon, is a naturally occurring radioactive isotope that forms when cosmic rays in the upper atmosphere strike nitrogen molecules, which then oxidize to become carbon dioxide.

Green plants absorb the carbon dioxide, so the population of carbon-14 molecules is continually replenished until the plant dies.

You may think of shovels when you think of digging, but the most important piece of equipment in the archaeologist’s toolkit is actually the trowel.

A trowel is used to carefully remove thin layers of soil from test units.

Until this century, relative dating was the only technique for identifying the age of a truly ancient object.