Carbon dating simplified
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: archeology (from archaia"CATEGORY: and "logos"DEFINITION: science knowledge or theory)" branch The scientific study and reconstruction of the human past through the systematic recovery of the physical remains of man's life and cultures.
Initially inspired by the development of batteries, it covers technology in general and includes some interesting little known, or long forgotten, facts as well as a few myths about the development of technology, the science behind it, the context in which it occurred and the deeds of the many personalities, eccentrics and charlatans involved.
In general, pyrolysis of organic substances produces gas and liquid products and leaves a solid residue richer in carbon content, char.
(See Map of Mesopotamia) Unfortunately this accolade ignores the contributions of the Chinese people and the Harappans of the Indus Valley, (Modern day Pakistan) who were equally "civilised" during this period practicing metallurgy (copper, bronze, lead, and tin) and urban planning, with civic buildings, baked brick houses, and water supply and drainage systems. Called Cuneiform Writing from the Latin "cuneus", meaning "wedge", it was developed as a vehicle for commercial accounting transactions and record keeping.
Pyrolysis is a thermochemical decomposition of organic material at elevated temperatures in the absence of oxygen (or any halogen).
Some sites (Stonehenge, New Grange) show a definite interest in simple solar observations.
Ancient astronomical knowledge can be inferred through the study of the alignments and other aspects of these archaeological sites.