Technology involved in carbon dating

With the decipherment of the Egyptian hieroglyphics, Egyptologists had access to such an absolute timescale, and the age, in calender years, of the Egyptian dynasties could be established.

Furthermore, Egyptian trade wares were used as a basis for establishing the age of the relative chronologies developed for adjoining regions, such as Palestine and Greece.

Tree ring growth reflects the rainfall conditions that prevailed during the years of the tree's life.

Because rainfall patterns vary annually, any given set of tree ring patterns in a region will form a relatively distinct pattern, identifiable with a particular set of years.

From this, scientists can establish pollen diagrams (describing the relative abundance of different pollen-producing plants at a given point in time) and floral time charts (showing how climate and flora changed over time).

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Stratigraphic dating is accomplished by interpreting the significance of geological or archaeological strata, or layers.

Fossils are useful because certain assemblages of species are characteristic of specific geological eras.

Pollen analysis, or palynology, involves the microscopic examination of fossil pollen grains in stratified peat and lake deposits.

In geology, a master stratigraphic sequence for a particular region is built up by correlating the strata from different locations with one another.

As new locations are investigated, the geologist attempts to fit the new profiles into the master sequence of geological strata for that region.

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