As you may recall, it was once assumed that the atmospheric ratio of C remained constant over time (Libby 1955: 8).However, radiocarbon dating of known-age archaeological specimens undermined this assumption and led eventually to the development of tree-ring-based calibration curves (Taylor 1987: 19–21).
That is, ‘archaeology and science’ is equated with archaeometry, a one-way relationship that emphasises archaeological dependence on other disciplines.Relationships 2 and 3 comprise what I call ‘the archaeology science’ (Schiffer 2013).This paper illustrates these relationships with brief examples and a case study on discovery processes.Floral and faunal evidence also enables palaeoecological and biogeographical reconstructions (e.g. Thanks to human remains unearthed by historical archaeologists, genomes of ancient pathogens, such as the bacteria that cause leprosy and tuberculosis, are being sequenced, leading to reconstructions of their evolutionary histories (e.g.Gibbons 2013), possibly paving the way to improved therapies. Although familiar with many of these examples, we may fail to grasp the larger pattern: there is a two-way flow of matter and information between archaeology and other sciences.Archaeologists also assess the effects on native animal populations of human predation, habitat losses and competition from domesticates and other invasive species—issues that are of interest to ecologists and others (e.g. A well-known example is documentation of the mass extinction of birds in Polynesia (e.g.