Major dating methods used by archaeologists

In a stratigraphical context objects closer to the surface are more recent in time relative to items deeper in the ground.

Although relative dating can work well in certain areas, several problems arise.

There are two main categories of dating methods in archaeology: indirect or relative dating and absolute dating.

Relative dating includes methods that rely on the analysis of comparative data or the context (eg, geological, regional, cultural) in which the object one wishes to date is found.

For those researchers working in the field of human history, the chronology of events remains a major element of reflection.

Archaeologists have access to various techniques for dating archaeological sites or the objects found on those sites.

The Mayan calendar used 3114 BC as their reference.

More recently is the radiocarbon date of 1950 AD or before present, BP.

Chronological sequence is all that is really required.

Archaeology classes are commonly available in Bachelor's, master's and doctoral programs, and may also be taken as part of an archaeology concentration in an anthropology, classical history, art history or medieval studies degree program.

Read on to learn more about courses offered in this field of study.

These remains include the fossils (preserved bones) of humans, food remains, the ruins of buildings, and human artifactsitems such as tools, pottery, and jewelry.

From their studies, archaeologists attempt to reconstruct past ways of life.

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