Absolute chronometric 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.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.
But this method is also useful in many other disciplines.
Another problem is that there may be gaps in the sequences of available timber, so that the chronology 'floats', or is not tied in to a calendrical date or living trees: it can only be used for .
Also, the tree-ring key can only go back a certain distance into the past, since the availability of sufficient amounts of timber to construct a sequence obviously decreases.
Cultural seriations are based on typologies, in which artifacts that are numerous across a wide variety of sites and over time, like pottery or stone tools.
If archaeologists know how pottery styles, glazes, and techniques have changed over time they can date sites based on the ratio of different kinds of pottery.