Having analyzed his discoveries according to their form, material, and biological association, the archaeologist then comes to the all-important problem of dating.
Many material remains of man’s past have no dating problem: they may be, like coins, or most coins, self-dating, or they may be dated by man-made dates in written records.
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.
The Mayan calendar used 3114 BC as their reference.
These tell him the environmental conditions in which the people he is studying lived; he now sees his material remains not as isolated artifacts but in the context of their original environments.The Greeks consider the first Olympic Games as the beginning or 776 BC.The Muslims count the Prophet’s departure from Mecca, or the Hegira, as their beginning at AD 662.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.