Some limitations carbon dating

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But this works only roughly, because surfaces exposed in different directions and to different weather will form patina at different rates. Though they most often use mineral pigments, they may use an organic “binder” to attach the pigment to the rock surface so it will stay there for a long time.

If either pigments or binder contain carbon, they may possibly give a basis for radiocarbon dating.

Rock Art can be “interpreted” in many ways, including by modern artists and spiritual practitioners with purposes which may have either a lot or very little to do with the reasons it was produced long ago.

These modern interpretations can be useful to those who engage in them, even giving great pleasure and serenity.

Or they may record partial histories of entire villages or peoples.

Then we may have something like the oldest histories in the world.Which symbols occur together often, which rarely, which never do?Which occur in particular kinds of locations (residential vs. What is the geographic distribution of particular rock art traditions, and did it change through time?And there are other ways of treating rock art as simply one more kind of evidence in archaeology. When none of these kinds of “abolute” dating is available, relative dating may still be possible.The relative darkness of petroglyphs on a single rock surface may give their relative dates.

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