But, for a single culture site the method is quite reliable.
Based on a discipline of geology called stratigraphy, rock layers are used to decipher the sequence of historical geological events.
Sometimes only one method is possible, reducing the confidence researchers have in the results. “They’re based on ‘it’s that old because I say so,’ a popular approach by some of my older colleagues,” says Shea, laughing, “though I find I like it myself as I get more gray hair.” Kidding aside, dating a find is crucial for understanding its significance and relation to other fossils or artifacts.
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This method includes carbon dating and thermoluminescence.
The absolute dating method first appeared in 1907 with Lord Rutherford and Professor Boltwood at Yale University, but wasn’t accepted until the 1950s.
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Paleontologists still commonly use biostratigraphy to date fossils, often in combination with paleomagnetism and tephrochronology.
A submethod within biostratigraphy is faunal association: Sometimes researchers can determine a rough age for a fossil based on established ages of other fauna from the same layer — especially microfauna, which evolve faster, creating shorter spans in the fossil record for each species.Relative techniques can determine the sequence of events but not the precise date of an event, making these methods unreliable.b) Absolute These methods are based on calculating the date of artefacts in a more precise way using different attributes of materials.The artifactual record of this exceedingly long interval is very incomplete; it can be studied from such imperishable objects of now-extinct cultures as were made of flint, , and antler.These alone have withstood the ravages of time, and, together with the remains of contemporary animals hunted by our prehistoric forerunners, they are all that scholars have to guide them in attempting to reconstruct human activity throughout this vast interval—approximately 98 percent of the time span since the appearance of the first true stock.For example, if the cultural contents of the lower deposit are Mauryan in character, appropriately this deposit may be assigned a date between 400-200 B. Similarly, if the cultural equipment of the upper deposit are of the Sunga period, this deposit has to placed between 200-73 B. Quite often, the archaeologist decided the change of stratum on the basis of the feed of the deposit.