Types of relative dating methods
The resulting fluor-apatite is more stable than the original form, thus the fluoride content of a bone will increase over time if it is exposed to a solution containing fluoride ions.
Fluoride ions are present in trace amounts in most soils and groundwaters.
Fluoride dating works best when bones of similar density are compared.
Therefore, it is rarely possible to mix results from skeletal elements with widely differing densities (i.e., femur cortical bone versus vertebral fragments), or to compare juveniles with adults, or to compare bones from very large or very small mammals.
Each of the clusters represents a different type of burial treatment.
The error bars on the fluoride measurements are one standard deviation limits, so all of the treatments represent contempory burial modes, with one cluster (Cluster 6, flexed burials with artifacts, lowest fluoride content) possibly being among the latest.
The requirement of identical burial conditions means that fluoride dating works best when it is applied within a single site with little variation in soil chemistry.
were used to establish a relative chronology for house basins at the site.In most cases, we recommend a pilot project using samples of known chronology to evaluate the effectiveness of fluoride dating on your samples before starting a large-scale project.