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Relative dating methods and absolute dating methods

The underlying principle of stratigraphic analysis in archaeology is that of superposition.This term means that older artefacts are usually found below younger items.

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Archaeological scientists have two primary ways of telling the age of artefacts and the sites from which they came: relative dating and absolute dating.When museums and collectors purchase archaeological items for their collections they enter an expensive and potentially deceptive commercial fine arts arena.Healthy profits are to be made from illicitly plundered ancient sites or selling skillfully made forgeries.Paleontologists still commonly use biostratigraphy to date fossils, often in combination with paleomagnetism and tephrochronology.A submethod within biostratigraphy is faunal association: Sometimes researchers can determine a rough age for a fossil based on established ages of other fauna from the same layer — especially microfauna, which evolve faster, creating shorter spans in the fossil record for each species.Recent research by a team of creation scientists known as the RATE (arth) group has demonstrated the unreliability of radiometric dating techniques.

Even the use of isochron dating, which is supposed to eliminate some initial condition assumptions, produces dates that are not reliable.

Sometimes only one method is possible, reducing the confidence researchers have in the results. “They’re based on ‘it’s that old because I say so,’ a popular approach by some of my older colleagues,” says Shea, laughing, “though I find I like it myself as I get more gray hair.” Kidding aside, dating a find is crucial for understanding its significance and relation to other fossils or artifacts.

Methods fall into one of two categories: relative or absolute.

This is a method that does not find the age in years but is an effective technique to compare the ages of two or more artifacts, rocks or even sites.

It implies that relative dating cannot say conclusively about the true age of an artifact.

Dating is a technique used in archeology to ascertain the age of artifacts, fossils and other items considered to be valuable by archeologists.