The etymology of the word isotopes can be traced back to the Greek words, isos equal and topos meaning place. The physical description of an isotope is that it is a variable of an element with a similar atomic number but differ in atomic mass, therefore, isotopes of an element are the different arrangements of neurons for the same proton…
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Isotopes are classified into two groups, stable or unstable isotopes, stable isotopes are considered such because of the non-dynamic nature of their proton neutron relationship they do not disintegrate or decay, while unstable isotopes, on the other hand, are known as radioactive isotopes. They are characterized by an unstable proton-neutron combination, in the process of decaying; they emit various types of radiation such as gamma, beta, and alpha, depending on the creation process, ranging from Cosmogenic, to radioactive isotopes. Both classes of isotopes have a wide range of uses in various disciplines such as medicine, agriculture, and geology just to mention a few. This paper focuses on the uses of isotopes in archeology and examines the various uses of isotopes in archeological research, their advantages disadvantages, and alternative techniques. Radio carbon dating One of the most essential functions or radioisotopes is in the determination of the age of archeological especially the remains of once living organism which could have died thousands of years ago. This has been used to back up written and historical data in a range of disciplines such as history, evolution and religion. ...
The archeologists hence measure the ratio of carbon in the organisms and compare it to the radioactivity of carbon 14 left in the organism (Van der Merwe, 1982). In this way, scientists have been able to determine, and with considerable success, the ages of many plants and animal matter that have been excavated in archeological sites. The main advantage of carbon 14 dating is that is economical, and when done properly after considering all the factors involved, it can produce results that are very accurate. However, it has got some limitations in that if the subject being aged has been in existence for over 50,000 years, it begins to lose accuracy since the carbon isotopes become too small for effective measurement. Besides, environmental changes due to natural or man-made courses such as atomic bombs and nuclear testing has varied the amounts of carbon in the atmosphere making it difficult to come up with accurate results (Van der Merwe, 1982). A new method is, however, being developed AMS (accelerator mass spectrometry) to counterman these short comings since it can derive more accurate dates from smaller samples of carbon for radio carbon dating. Determination of Geological location Using Strontium (Sr), which is an isotope found in human bones, archeologists can determine the geographical history of humans i.e. where past civilizations have been, their migration and settlement pasts and patterns can be deduced form these isotopes (Bentley, 2006). The strontium isotopes are ideal for this since they act like geochemical signatures, the body takes up the isotopes from the soil through the consumption of plant or animals which have consumed the same plants. The strontium hence embeds itself into the local food chain and substitutes some of calcium in the
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The study of semiotics therefore involves the study of all the signs that are used in the process of communication to convey different messages about different situations. Semiotics is used to describe the different signs and phenomena which is also known as descriptive semiotics.
Rana, et al. (2012) suggests that isotopes bring about the existence of elements in many forms for example carbon 12 and carbon 14. Chemically, isotopes of a particular element have similar behaviors under similar circumstances. Due to the difference in their masses, isotopes differ physically, which explains why isotopes can be separated through processes such as fractional distillation.
This means that isotopes of an element have the same atomic number. Nonetheless, isotopes do not share the same number of neutrons within their nucleus. As a result, isotopes are said to have divergent atomic weights. There are two major types of isotopes.
They have no electrical charges and light electrons which are negatively charged. The light electrons that are negatively charged are said to occupy the biggest volume of atoms and they determine how a specific atom interacts with other atoms (NSAC, 2009).
This leads to a difference in the atomic mass although the atomic number is the same (McKinney, et al, 1995). However, since neutrons are chemically in active, the difference caused by neutrons does not affect the atoms chemically. As a result, isotopes have similar chemical reactions, but only differ physically due to their atomic mass difference.
Contrary to people’s beliefs, archeologists have passion of studying the past through investigation of human life way back from the origins to the modern times, rather than exploring fanciful images. Historical archeology presents methods, concepts and fundamental principles regarding the history of human to provide information on their culture and different aspects of history.
In relation to the study of forensic science, this report will purposely conduct a systematic review which aims to discuss the advantages of using stable isotopes as compared to the use of radioactive isotopes. Table of Content Abstract ……………………………………………………………………………………… 2 Table of Content …………………………………………………………………………….
There is a considerable debate as to whether this discipline should encompass other areas of inquiry, as to how far should this study concern itself. Nevertheless, as definitions are disputed, archaeology is agreed as interconnected and associated with anthropology and history.
The radiation from the isotopes destroys or weakens the targeted cells in the human body. Other isotopes are significant in the sterilization of the medical equipment and products. It is noteworthy that the utilization of
According to the report culture is a man’s way of life that can be described by infering to the living pattern of a group of people, the eating habit, social habits such as dressing and the manner with which they held their ceremonies. Understanding of the modern culture and living pattern demands diagnosis of the past cultures.
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