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Each object has a lifespan in which it is made, transported, marketed, used, and discarded. Although the manufacturing date range for artifacts may be known, we should not equate the manufacturing range for an object type with the use range for a particular object. Studies from several locations indicate ceramic artifacts have lifespans of as much as 15 years and more in a household before being discarded.
In coastal zones and other environments around the world, however, thousands of archaeological sites are rapidly eroding or endangered by other destructive processes. We believe archaeologists should expand their use of l4 C dating, systematically incorporating it into surveys in coastal, lacustrine, riverine, and other environments where erosional exposures often provide access to extensive stratigraphic profiles.
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Without more widespread application of such techniques, and a reallocation of research and cultural resource management funds, thousands of sites will be lost before even the most basic information about their age and contents is known. View all Google Scholar citations for this article.
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American Antiquity. Article contents Abstract References.
Jon M. Erlandson and. Madonna L. Show author details.
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Article Metrics. Get access Share. Abstract Traditionally, archaeologists have used l4 C dating primarily as a postexcavation analytical tool to establish the age of features, strata, or assemblages. Type Reports. Access options Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below.
Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access. ArnoldJ. American Antiquity 57 : 60 — CrossRef Google Scholar.
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The systematic use of radiocarbon dating in archaeological surveys in coastal and other erosional environments
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Dating historical sites: the importance of understanding time lag in the acquisition, curation, use, and disposal of artifacts
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