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Chronometric dating relative dating

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Archaeologists use many different techniques to determine the age of a particular artifact, site, or part of a site.Two broad categories of dating or chronometric techniques that archaeologists use are called relative and absolute dating.

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However, all is not lost, and it is possible to establish a temporal sequence that can be quite edifying.In archaeological terminology, there are two categories of dating methods: absolute and relative.Absolute dating utilizes one or more of a variety of chronometric techniques to produce a computed numerical age, typically with a standard error.In other words, artifacts found in the upper layers of a site will have been deposited more recently than those found in the lower layers.Cross-dating of sites, comparing geologic strata at one site with another location and extrapolating the relative ages in that manner, is still an important dating strategy used today, primarily when sites are far too old for absolute dates to have much meaning.Another way that precise dating can be achieved is if the artist records the actual date of his or her creation, the name of a leader of known reign, or a distinctive historical event, like the inscription shown in the previous chapter about King Yousif Assar Yathar’s invasion of the Najran region in 518 CE.

Then, however, it must be clear that the artist is referring to his or her own time, and not providing historical commentary.

The date on a coin is an absolute date, as are AD 1492 or 501 in which the proportion of carbon isotopes is counted directly (as contrasted with the indirect Geiger counter method) using an accelerator mass spectrometer.

The method drastically reduces the quantity of datable material required.

For example, JJA Worsaae used this law to prove the Three Age System.

For more information on stratigraphy and how it is used in archaeology, see the Stratigraphy glossary entry.

To progress, it is essential to apply the second type, or relative, dating.