ISHANGO

Dating methods



There is a difference between absolute dating and relative dating.

What does absolute dating mean?


It's simply a given date. To absolutely date an event, physico-chemical methods are performed in the laboratory on samples taken from the field. Radiocarbon dating (Carbon-14) is the best known method. It was used at Ishango, aswell as the racemisation of amino acids.

And relative dating?


Events are placed in relation to each other without giving a date. In archaeology, palaeontology and geology, stratigraphic observations are used to locate events.

How does it work?


The basement consists of layers made by water, wind, man, volcanic eruption etc. The layer on which we walk is the last to have formed, while the deeper layers are older, just like the artefacts they contain. In Ishango, both stratigraphy and laboratory methods were used for dating.