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Relative and chronometric dating

Before this, archaeologists and scientists relied on deductive dating methods, such as comparing rock strata formations in different regions.

Chronometric dating has advanced since the 1970s, allowing far more accurate dating of specimens.

However, the longer bristlecone pine sequence is of little value except for cross-checking the reliability of other dating techniques because logs of this species are rarely found in association with ancient humans.This also works with stone tools which are found abundantly at different sites and across long periods of time.Stratigraphic dating is based on the principle of depositional superposition of layers of sediments called strata.Several dating methods exist, depending on different criteria and techniques, and some very well known examples of disciplines using such techniques are, for example, history, archaeology, geology, paleontology, astronomy and even forensic science, since in the latter it is sometimes necessary to investigate the moment in the past in which the death of a cadaver occurred.Relative dating methods are unable to determine the absolute age of an object or event, but can determine the impossibility of a particular event happening before or after another event of which the absolute date is well known.This principle presumes that the oldest layer of a stratigraphic sequence will be on the bottom and the most recent, or youngest, will be on the top.The earliest-known hominids in East Africa are often found in very specific stratigraphic contexts that have implications for their relative dating.The most common relative dating method is stratigraphy.Other methods include fluorine dating, nitrogen dating, association with bones of extinct fauna, association with certain pollen profiles, association with geological features such as beaches, terraces and river meanders, and the establishment of cultural seriations.Historians, for example, know that Shakespeare's play Henry V was not written before 1587 because Shakespeare's primary source for writing his play was the second edition of Raphael Holinshed's Chronicles, not published until 1587.Thus, 1587 is the post quem dating of Shakespeare's play Henry V.

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