Relative or absolute dating

Relative dating methods were the first dating techniques to be developed, and are still widely used.

The radiocarbon dating method was developed in the late 1940's by Dr. Libby, who later won a Nobel Prize in chemistry for this work.

History as a subject stay intriguing as ever; everyone wants to know what happened in the past, how it happened and what was the sequence of the things that occurred.

Knowing all this and establishing a proper scale for the events of past has always been difficult and the two terms involved here help in achieving the task.

Relative dating is based on the law of superposition which states that material found at the bottom of a sedimentary sequence is older than the material above it.

Any scientific study of the past, including the geologic past, relies on the use of dating methods to determine the age of sites, landforms, sediments or geologic events.

A variety of dating methods are available, and the scientist must decide which method will provide the most accurate results in each case.

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.

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When it comes to determining the age of stuff scientists dig out of the ground, whether fossil or artifact, “there are good dates and bad dates and ugly dates,” says paleoanthropologist John Shea of Stony Brook University.

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