Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

The geological approach to dating archaeological sites

July 1, 1954

Abasic Question that must be answered for any archaeological site is, how old is it? Although some archaeological sites can be dated on the basis of archaeological correlations alone and although dendrochronological (Giddings, 1952, pp. 105-110) and radiocarbon methods give absolute ages for other sites, many sites can be dated only by methods based on the geologists' knowledge of geographic and climatic changes during the last few tens of thousands of years. The dates of these changes are established in part by radiocarbon and related methods. Study of archaeological sites accurately dated by radiocarbon methods will amplify the geologists' understanding of late Quaternary events. The well known techniques of dendrochronological and radiocarbon dating need no discussion. The interrelations of methods that depend ultimately on our knowledge of Quaternary climatic and geographic changes are not always well understood, however, by archaeologists. The present paper is intended to clarify some of these interrelations.

Publication Year 1954
Title The geological approach to dating archaeological sites
DOI 10.2307/276719
Authors Troy L. Pewe
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title American Antiquity
Index ID 70221455
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse