Dating methods in archaeology

It is increasingly difficult for prehistorians working in the twenty-first century to conceptualise the problems experienced by their predecessors, and approaches to interpretation before the 1960s are consistently criticised.Culture history and diffusionism may - with hindsight - seem excessively preoccupied with classification and social evolution, and to have applied unsophisticated historical interpretations instead of asking fundamental questions about human behaviour.Most of the summarized dating methods may not be used with regularity in the field, but individuals should be informed about their existence, usefulness, and sample collection methods.

Classification divides things up for the purposes of description, whereas typology seeks to identify and analyse changes that will allow artefacts to be placed into sequences.

On the other hand, absolute dating includes all methods that provide figures about the real estimated age of archaeological objects or occupations.

These methods usually analyze physicochemical transformation phenomena whose rate are known or can be estimated relatively well.

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.