Geologic dating activity
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Remains such as those found at Kilellan (Burgess, 1976) and Newton (Mac Cullagh, 1989) indicate that the buildings of this period were rough shelters dug into the sand.
Chance finds of several distinctive Mesolithic flint tools and working debris, together with shell middens and occasional structural remains, indicate that Islay was occupied from at least as early as 8000 BC.The only known broch site on the island is located at Dun Bhoraraic near Ballygrant.While there are numerous fortified dun sites throughout the island and especially on the coast edge, the period of their construction and use is little known, although it is probable that a proportion are of Iron Age date.While seven such tombs are known on Islay, none lie within the coastal zone.From the mid-second millennium BC onward, the archaeological record indicates social and cultural changes occurring.A Late Neolithic-Early Bronze Age round house dating from around 2000 BC, excavated at Ardnave (Ritchie & Welfare, 1983) was found to contain food vessel type pottery and a wide range of stone tools.
The Neolithic chambered cairn tombs found on Islay are part of a group known as the Clyde tombs and would have contained a long narrow passage with a chamber to one end.
Read the pages listed below, which are available online through Library Reserves.
Electronic course reserves, or "e-Reserves," are articles and book chapters that are available online through the University Libraries.
This 5-12-grade activity introduces students to the idea of sequencing information in overlapping data sets and the Principle of Superposition, which is a core concept in relative dating. Offers history of age dating, stratigraphic principles, rock correlation, fossil correlations, radiometric dating, and the geologic time scale. Short discussion of radioactive dating and stratigraphic principles.
Radiometric Dating and the Geologic Time Scale, The Talk Origins Archive. Provides brief overview of (1) relative dating and stratigraphic methods, (2) absolute dating and radiometric dating, including a table with parent to daughter isotopes and half lives of those isotopes commonly used in radiometric dating, (3) paleomagnetics and (4) geologic time. Includes tables of common radioactive parent isotopes and their stable daughter products, and half lives of common radioactive isotopes.
With the discovery of radioactive isotopes more then one hundred years ago, scientists quickly realized that the radioactive decay of materials found in rocks could be used to date the rocks and consequently change the "relative" geologic time scale into an "absolute" time scale.