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Absolute dating and relative dating mensdating org

Radiocarbon dating provides additional clues necessary for absolute dating.Relative dating is an older method of placing events on the calendar of time.Two broad categories of classification methods are relative dating and absolute dating.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.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 is left for absolute dating to come up with the precise age of an artifact.

Using these methods, the scientist determines a date range for when an event took place rather than where it fits in the overall record. The techniques scientist need for absolute dating did not become available until the later half of the 20th century.

Continue Reading Relative dating observes the placement of fossils and rock in layers known as strata.

Basically, fossils and rock found in lower strata are older than those found in higher strata because lower objects must have been deposited first, while higher objects were deposited last.

Relative dating helps determine what came first and what followed, but doesn't help determine actual age.

Radiometric dating, or numeric dating, determines an actual or approximate age of an object by studying the rate of decay of radioactive isotopes, such as uranium, potassium, rubidium and carbon-14 within that object. This rate provides scientists with an accurate measurement system to determine age.


  1. Relative dating and radiometric dating are used to determine age of fossils and geologic features, but with different methods. Relative dating uses observation of.

  2. RELATIVE VS. ABSOLUTE DATING RELATIVE DATING A method of determining whether an event or object is younger or older than another event or object.

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