Chronology and Dating Part 1 The Perception of Time vs the Experience of Time


Relative: Age specified relative to something else, in unspecified or unknown units



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Relative: Age specified relative to something else, in unspecified or unknown units

  • Absolute: Age specified in terms of established units of known and regular interval (such as calendar years)

    Relative Time




    Absolute Time

    • We can say:


    • X is older/younger than Y.

    • X is 100 years old.

    • X and Y were both used in 1492.
    • We may have to attach a +/- value to reflect relative precision of the date.

    For Any Dating Technique you need to know

    • What Makes the Clock Run?


    • What is the source of change that is being measured and what interval is represented by a single ‘tick’?
    • What Starts (or resets) the Clock?

    • How does the clock relate to the archaeological phenomenon you wish to date?

    What Makes the Clock Run
    (and what is the interval)

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