List ofradioactive dating techniques
The seriation of stratified deposits permits archaeologists to assess the relative age of particular styles.
This information may then be used to surmise the relative age of unstratified deposits (e.g., surface sites).
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.
With the decipherment of the Egyptian hieroglyphics, Egyptologists had access to such an absolute timescale, and the age, in calender years, of the Egyptian dynasties could be established.
When archaeologists have access to the historical records of civilizations that had calendars and counted and recorded the passage of years, the actual age of the archaeological material may be ascertained—provided there is some basis for correlating our modern calendar with the ancient calendar.Stratigraphic dating assumes that the lower layers in any particular profile are older than the upper layers in that profile ( "the law of superposition" ) and that an object cannot be older than the materials of which it is composed.Igneous masses are dated according to whether they caused metamorphism in the surrounding rock (proof of emplacement in preexisting rock) or whether sediments were deposited on them after they were formed.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.