Spot dating archaeology

• What non-destructive absolute dating methods are available? • Outline, using examples how Bayesian analysis can improve radiocarbon chronologies. • How can past diet affect the radiocarbon dating of humans? • How does the ‘Radiocarbon Barrier’ affect our chronologies and what can be done to cross it? Jerusalem (CNN) -- Archaeologists in Israel say they have discovered the remains of a home from the time of Jesus in the heart of Nazareth.

Researchers found storage pits and cisterns in the compound of the Church of the Annunciation, many of which date to the time of Jesus, Israeli archaeologists said.

In the excavation, a large, broad wall that dates to the 15th century was exposed.

Another hewn pit, whose entrance was apparently camouflaged, was excavated and a few pottery fragments from the early Roman period were found inside it.

"Based on other excavations that I conducted in other villages in the region, this pit was probably hewn as part of the preparations by the Jews to protect themselves during the great revolt against the Romans in [A.

The find marks the first time researchers have uncovered the remains of a home in Nazareth from that time period, the Israeli Antiquities Authority said in a statement.

"The building that we found is small and modest and it is most likely typical of the dwellings in Nazareth in that period," Yardenna Alexandre, excavation director for the authority, said in the statement.

The development of absolute dating methods has had the most profound effect on our understanding of the past.

All self-respecting archaeologists should have a basic grounding in radiocarbon dating, but many other dating techniques exist and are appropriate for particular archaeological materials.

"Until now a number of tombs from the time of Jesus were found in Nazareth; however, no settlement remains have been discovered that are attributed to this period." Christians believe that Mary, the mother of Jesus, lived in Nazareth with her husband, Joseph.

They believe Mary was in Nazareth when the angel Gabriel revealed that Mary would give birth to the son of God, a baby to be named Jesus.

• What is the earliest reliably dated modern human in Africa?