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Before the advent of absolute dating methods in the twentieth century, nearly all dating was relative.
The main relative dating method is stratigraphy (pronounced stra-TI-gra-fee), which is the study of layers of rocks or the objects embedded within those layers.
Relative dating methods are used to determine only if one sample is older or younger than another.
Absolute dating methods are used to determine an actual date in years for the age of an object.
This method is based on the assumption (which nearly always holds true) that deeper layers of rock were deposited earlier in Earth's history, and thus are older than more shallow layers.
The successive layers of rock represent successive intervals of time.
By measuring the amount of original and transformed atoms in an object, scientists can determine the age of that object.
When a piece of pottery is heated in a laboratory at temperatures more than 930°F (500°C), electrons from quartz and other minerals in the pottery clay emit light.
Dating techniques are procedures used by scientists to determine the age of an object or a series of events.
The two main types of dating methods are relative and absolute.
When carbon-14 falls to Earth, it is absorbed by plants.
These plants are eaten by animals who, in turn, are eaten by even larger animals.Dendrochronology: Also known as tree-ring dating, the science concerned with determining the age of trees by examining their growth rings.Half-life: Measurement of the time it takes for one-half of a radioactive substance to decay.Absolute dates must agree with dates from other relative methods in order to be valid.