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Vocabulary from the Sonlight Instructors Guide

Life Science

A term that encompasses all scientific pursuits related to living organisms


The study of past human life as revealed by preserved relics


Objects made by people such as tools, weapons, containers, etc..


The study of earth's history as revealed in the rocks that make up the earth


The study of life's history as revealed in the preserved remains of once-living plants and organisms

Internal Test

Test to see whether or not the document is Internally consistent, or does it contradict itself

Aristotle's dictum

The benefit of the doubt is to be given to the document itself, not assigned by the critic to himself

External Test

Test to see whether or not the document contradicts other known historical facts

Bibliographic test

A historical test that attempts to determine whether or not the version of the document that exists is a faithful representation of the original

Known Age

The age of an artifact as determined by a date printed on it or a reference to the artifact in a work of history


The process of counting tree rings to determine the age of a tree.

The only ages that are certain...

The only ages that are certain in archaeology are the KNOWN ages.

Ages determined by Dendrochronology...

Ages determined by dendrochronology are upper limits for the age of an artifact.

Radiometric dating

Using radioactive process to determine the age of an item .

Absolute age

The calculated age of an artifact from a specific dating method that is used to determine when the artifact was made.

Principle of Superposition

When artifacts are found in rock or earth that is layered, the deeper layers hold the older artifacts.


The distinct layers found in soil and/or rock.

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