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How can we identify the age of remains and relics?

How can we identify the age of remains and relics?

  • There are several ways to determine the age of ruins and artifacts. If an object has the sexagenary cycle or characters on it, its absolute age can be easily identified. Vice versa, we can tell the age and period of remains and relics based on their forms and characteristics.
  • Relative dating, which has been the traditional method of dating in archaeology, determines a relic’s approximate age through its form, pattern, material, and media from which it is made. However, this technique is rather subjective, bringing up the need for absolute dating, which determines an object’s absolute age using natural scientific methods. In particular, absolute dating is crucial in dating ruins from the Paleolithic Age or the Neolithic Age, such as animal bones and charcoal.
  • Typical dating methods include radiocarbon dating (for organic matter such as bones and charcoal) and thermoluminescence dating (for inorganic substance made by baking such as roof tiles and earthenware). Annual rings are also widely used for dating.

Epitaph of Deokheung-ri Ancient Tomb The period, “18th year of King Yeongrak’s reign (408)” is written on it.