This approach helps to order events chronologically but it does not provide the absolute age of an object expressed in years.
Relative dating includes different techniques, but the most commonly used are soil stratigraphy analysis and typology.
Stratigraphic dating remains very reliable when it comes to dating objects or events in undisturbed stratigraphic levels.
An initial reading dates the specimen which is then calibrated by considering this date and its correspondence with the measurable level of carbon 14 stored over time in the growth rings of certain tree species, including redwood and pine bristol.
The results of radiocarbon dating are expressed in years and include a time range (eg, 630± 60 BP).
Typology Typology is a method that compares reference objects in order to classify them according to their similarity or dissimilarity and link them to a specific context or period.
This technique is frequently used when it is impossible to make use of absolute dating methods; it generally allows archaeologists to identify the period to which a cultural site or object belongs, without specifying the date of occupation.
Indeed, carbon 14 (14C) is formed from the reaction caused by cosmic rays that convert nitrogen into carbon 14 and then carbon dioxide by combining with carbon 12 (12C) and carbon 13 (13C ), which are stable carbon isotopes.
Following the death of an organism, any exchange ceases and the carbon 14, which is radioactive and therefore unstable, slowly begins to disintegrate at a known rate (half-life of 5730 years, ie, after this period only half of the total carbon 14 present at the time of death remains).
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 bones were buried under (and are therefore older) a layer of ash that resulted from a volcanic eruption dating back to 7000 years BP (Before Present; "present" indicates c. Subsequently, radiocarbon dating, an absolute dating technique, was used to date the bones directly and provided a date of 8250 BP, showing how useful the combined used of relative and absolute dating can be.