Though using similar methods, these two techniques differ in certain ways that will be discussed in this article.

As the name implies, relative dating can tell which of the two artifacts is older.

Overview of Methods Superposition Stratigraphy Dendrochronology Radiocarbon C14 Radiometric Dating Methods Obsidian Hydration Dating Paleomagnetic/Archaeomagnetic Luminescence Dating Methods Amino Acid Racemization Fission-track Dating Ice Cores Varves Pollens Corals Cation Ratio Fluorine Dating Patination Oxidizable Carbon Ratio Electron Spin Resonance Cosmic-ray Exposure Dating This is an excellent overview of dating methodologies, and is a chapter in a textbook on Archaeology.

Many of these links also appear where appropriate below.

James Hutton and William Smith advanced the concept of geologic time and strengthened the belief in an ancient world.

However, human beings love to see factual precision, and we want to know how old something is.

Please remember that all dating methods, even those termed "absolute," are subject to margins of error. That is a very small amount of possible error range. Modern studies almost always use two or more methods to confirm dating work and to build confidence in the results obtained.

This gives away the true age of the fossil that contains C-14 that starts decaying after the death of the human being or animal. Absolute Dating • Dating techniques are used in archeology to ascertain the age of old artifacts and a broad classification of these methods bifurcates them in relative dating and absolute dating • Relative dating comes to a conclusion based upon the study of layer formation of rocks.

Upper most layers are considered the youngest while the lowermost deposition is considered as oldest.

This is a method that does not find the age in years but is an effective technique to compare the ages of two or more artifacts, rocks or even sites.

It implies that relative dating cannot say conclusively about the true age of an artifact.

The most popular method of radio dating is radio carbon dating which is possible because of the presence of C-14, an unstable isotope of carbon.