Dating interpreting past radiocarbon series
According to this system, humans passed through three distinct stages of technological development, based on the primary material used to manufacture tools and weapons: the Stone Age, the Bronze Age, and the Iron Age.
Biological criteria can also serve as a means for relative dating.
Fossils are useful because certain assemblages of species are characteristic of specific geological eras.
Pollen analysis, or palynology, involves the microscopic examination of fossil pollen grains in stratified peat and lake deposits.
Relative Dating Before the 20th cent., archaeologists and geologists were largely limited to the use of relative dating techniques.
Estimates of the absolute age of prehistoric and geological events and remains amounted to little more than inspired guesswork, as there was no scientific basis for testing such proposals.
Because rainfall patterns vary annually, any given set of tree ring patterns in a region will form a relatively distinct pattern, identifiable with a particular set of years.
In geology, a master stratigraphic sequence for a particular region is built up by correlating the strata from different locations with one another.
As new locations are investigated, the geologist attempts to fit the new profiles into the master sequence of geological strata for that region.
Thus, Sir Arthur Evans was able to establish an accurate absolute chronology for the ancient civilizations of Crete and Greece through the use of Egyptian trade objects that appeared in his excavations—a technique known as cross-dating.
In dendrochronology, the age of wood can be determined through the counting of the number of annual rings in its cross section.