Absolute vs relative dating archaeology
The basis for stratigraphy seems quite intuitive today, but its applications were no less than earth-shattering to archaeological theory.For example, JJA Worsaae used this law to prove the Three Age System.On the other hand, absolute dating methods are based on scientific techniques that yield a chronometric age for a phenomenon in direct or indirect physical relation to rock art (same age, older,...Archaeologists use many different techniques to determine the age of a particular artifact, site, or part of a site.Until the 20th century, with its multiple developments, only relative dates could be determined with any confidence.Since the turn of the century, several methods to measure elapsed time have been discovered.
Relative dating refers to non-chronometric methodologies that produce seriation based on stylistic comparison and stratigraphic assumptions.
Many of the first efforts of archaeology grew out of historical documents--for example, Schliemann looked for Homer's Troy, and Layard went after the Biblical Ninevah--and within the context of a particular site, an object clearly associated with the site and stamped with a date or other identifying clue was perfectly useful. Outside of the context of a single site or society, a coin's date is useless.
And, outside of certain periods in our past, there simply were no chronologically dated objects, or the necessary depth and detail of history that would assist in chronologically dating civilizations.
It was now possible to assign a calendar date to archaeological sites in the American southwest for over 1000 years.
Determining calendar rates using dendrochronology is a matter of matching known patterns of light and dark rings to those recorded by Douglass and his successors.