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Aspartic acid is the compound most often used because it has a of 15,000-20,000 years and allows dates from 5,000-100,000 years to be calculated.

However, racemization is very much affected by environmental factors such as temperature change.

SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: chronometric dating; absolute dates; absolute chronology; absolute age determination (antonym: relative dating)CATEGORY: chronology; technique DEFINITION: The determination of age with reference to a specific time scale, such as a fixed calendrical system or in years before present (B.

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The technique is based on the principle that cations of certain elements are more soluble than others; they leach out of rock varnish more rapidly than the less soluble elements, and their concentration decreases with time.A cation is an ion carrying a positive charge which moves toward the negative electrode/cathode during electrolysis.Therefore, pottery which is baked in effect fossilizes" the Earth's magnetic field as it was the moment of their last cooling (their archaeomagnetism or remanent magnetism).In areas where variations in the Earth's magnetic field are known it is possible to date a pottery sample on a curve.This method yields an absolute date within about 50 years."CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: Any of a serious of methods of analyzing bone samples, especially by measuring fluorine, uranium, nitrogen -- also called the FUN technique -- or by using stratigraphy.

Human remains may be compared with animal bone or fossils found in the same strata.

However, its use is still helpful where recognizable products of dateable manufacture are found in undated contexts with no possibility of using a technique.

So in the absence of geochronology, two cultural groups can only be proved contemporary by the discovery of links between them.

Relative dates may be obtained form time-related chemical changes which occur in bone, especially in fluorine, uranium, and nitrogen.

Still, the most commonly used is SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: radiocarbon dating CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: The occurrence of natural radioactive carbon in the atmosphere allows archaeologists the ability to date organic materials as old as 50,000 years.

Among the most useful chronometric dating techniques are radiocarbon dating, potassium argon dating, and thermoluminescence dating.