Absolute and relative dating methods

This is not typical of the rock art in Saudi Arabia, however, which tends to be exposed and lacking any settlement or camp next to the cliff face.A palimpsest of animals from different ages at Shuwaymis: Faint images of Neolithic aurochsen (wild cattle), more recent camels and cavalryman, still younger men with exaggerated hands.In this case, a rock art panel may be judged to be younger, older or basically contemporaneous with another petroglyph, a site, an artifact, or other evidence of known antiquity.

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The patina is darker on the older images and the newer images are brighter.

Although it is difficult to state the absolute ages of most of the rock art studied in this project, there are certainly general trends, best estimates and bracketing dates, which will be provided whenever possible.

Different researchers have applied a variety of absolute dating methods directly to petroglyphs or to sediments covering them, including AMS (accelerator mass spectrometry) radiocarbon, cation ratio, amino acid racemization, OSL (optically stimulated luminescence), lichenometry, micro-erosion and micro-stratification analysis of patina. These techniques have yielded mixed results in terms of reliability and feasibility, but, in any case, none has been applied to date in Saudi Arabia.

It is hoped that absolute dating will be successfully implemented in the future in this region.

The hunter is usually aided by a pack of hunting dogs.

Last modified 09-Mar-2017 10:10