Compare and contrast relative dating and absolute dating

Relative dating in archaeology presumes the age of an artefact in relation and by comparison, to other objects found in its vicinity.Limits to relative dating are that it cannot provide an accurate year or a specific date of use.That is, scientists cannot tell exactly how old the layers are in years to the present date, only which is older than the other.Techniques such as radioactive dating, including carbon dating, focus more on the absolute age of an object.

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The two approaches are often complementary, as when a sequence of occurrences in one context can be correlated with an absolute chronlogy elsewhere.

Continue Reading Relative age comes up often in various fields, such as archeology.

If archaeologists find a site with layers in it, they can make assumptions about the relative age based on the composition of materials in each layer.

In relative dating, archaeologists interpret artifacts based on their positions within the (horizontal layering) of the soil.

The study of stratigraphy follows the excavation axiom "last in, first out"--meaning that an archaeologist usually removes soil layers in the reverse order in which they were laid down (see Figure 1).

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