Archaeologists use that assumption, called the law of superposition, to help determine a relative chronology for the site itself. Then, they use contextual clues and absolute dating techniques to help point to the age of the artifacts found in each layer.
We can date metal objects by analyzing the metals, alloys, and impurities present and comparing their composition percentages to known periods in time. We can also use this analysis to determine origin. Testing is performed using metallography and energy dispersive X-ray spectrometry (EDS).
How do scientists date things?
So how do scientists do it? Radiocarbon dating is the most common method by far, according to experts. This method involves measuring quantities of carbon-14, a radioactive carbon isotope — or version of an atom with a different number of neutrons. Carbon-14 is ubiquitous in the environment.
Ancient man first found and began using Native Metals approximately 5000 years BC. Over the next 2000 years, leading up to the Bronze age, man mastered how to find, manipulate and use these native metals in better ways and in a range of applications.
What are the goals of archeology?
The goal of archaeology is to understand how and why human behavior has changed over time. Archaeologists search for patterns in the evolution of significant cultural events such as the development of farming, the emergence of cities, or the collapse of major civilizations for clues of why these events occurred.