Artefacts and other materials can be dated in relative terms by observing which layer of sediments they are found in.
This applies the geological principle that under normal circumstances younger layers of sediment will be deposited on top of older layers.
A number of methods are used, all of which have their advantages, limitations and level of accuracy.
Complex dating problems often use a variety of techniques and information to arrive at the best answer.
It also has some applications in geology; its importance in dating organic materials cannot be underestimated enough.
In 1979, Desmond Clark said of the method “we would still be foundering in a sea of imprecisions sometime bred of inspired guesswork but more often of imaginative speculation” (3).
This calendar, with the months January through December, is a business standard used in many places round the world to define the year: one which hearkens back to Christian and Roman Imperial precedents.
date of organic material - but an approximate age, usually within a range of a few years either way.
The other method is “Relative Dating” which gives an order of events without giving an exact age (1): typically artefact typology or the study of the sequence of the evolution of fossils.
These various chronologies and their inherent inconsistencies, known as ‘relative dates,’ are a constant series of hurdles in the quest of historians and archaeologists to record mankind’s existence on earth.
However, in the 1940s, the organization of time was transformed by the revelation of radiometric dating and the subsequent creation of a scientific chronology of humankind, known as ‘absolute dating’.
Different cultures around the world record time in different fashions.