Is dendrochronology absolute or relative dating

Ancient sites in England, Malta, and elsewhere turned out to be older than once thought.With this new information, scientists were able to paint a more accurate picture of European prehistory. An absolute dating method tells the excavator the specific date of the material being studied (plus or minus a margin of error).This is especially significant when archaeologists have no other dating information.This method assumes that artifact styles change over time, but that the changes are gradual.Imagine an archaeologist needs to assign a date to a bone recovered during an excavation.Turning to carbon-14 dating, the archaeologist might discover that the bone dates from 3,500 years ago. It involves putting things into a sequence based on their relative ages.If a tree trunk was used as a house beam, and archaeologists can use dendrochronology to date when the tree was cut down, they have a concrete reference point for dating that house.Unless the beam was put in later, the house was built when the tree was cut down, or slightly later.

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This dating method is used to date obsidian, a kind of volcanic glass.Any artifact that might reflect stylistic changes, such as pottery or tombstone art, can be dated using this relative method.Dendrochronology can determine absolute and relative dates of wood, its origin, and what climates were like in the past.These stylistic changes happen gradually, so the sites can be arranged in order by time.The rise and fall of each style helps to date the sites.

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