In other words, artifacts found in the upper layers of a site will have been deposited more recently than those found in the lower layers.Cross-dating of sites, comparing geologic strata at one site with another location and extrapolating the relative ages in that manner, is still an important dating strategy used today, primarily when sites are far too old for absolute dates to have much meaning.Archaeologists use many different techniques to determine the age of a particular artifact, site, or part of a site.Two broad categories of dating or chronometric techniques that archaeologists use are called relative and absolute dating.In such cases subjective element cannot be ruled out.But, for a single culture site the method is quite reliable.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.
For example, if the cultural contents of the lower deposit are Mauryan in character, appropriately this deposit may be assigned a date between 400-200 B. Similarly, if the cultural equipment of the upper deposit are of the Sunga period, this deposit has to placed between 200-73 B. Quite often, the archaeologist decided the change of stratum on the basis of the feed of the deposit.Relative dating methods allow one to determine if an object is earlier than, later than, or contemporary with some other object.It does not, however, allow one to independently assign an accurate estimation of the age of an object as expressed in years.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.