Differences between relative and chronometric dating techniques

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The primary difference is that absolute dating assigns an actual time or age to an event or object.Relative dating simply says one is older than the other but no age is specified.Very often historical evidence is found in layers and older layers are further down that the top layers.

Thus, 1587 is the post quem dating of Shakespeare's play Henry V.

In this relative dating method, Latin terms ante quem and post quem are usually used to indicate both the oldest and the most recent possible moments when an event occurred or an artifact was left in a stratum.

But this method is also useful in many other disciplines.

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.

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