Relative and chronometric dating techniques
Items having an established date, such as dated coins or buildings, or ceramics of known manufacture are most often used.
By itself, a cross-dated chronology does not give absolute dates, but it may be calibrated by reference to other dating methods.
A sequential ordering that places cultural entities in temporal, and often spatial, distribution.
It involves the collection of dates or successive datings establishing the position in time of a series of phenomena such as the phases of a civilization or the events of the history of a state.
, in which figures in solar years (often with some necessary margin of error) can be applied to a particular event.
Unless tied to historical records, dating by archaeological methods can only be relative -- such as stratigraphy, typology, , fluorine and nitrogen test, and radiometric assay.
Associations between objects are the basis for as well as in interpretation -- cultural connections, original function, etc.
The assumption is that a particular type of artifact, for example a type of sword, when found in an undated context will bear a similar date to one found in a dated context, thus enabling the whole of the undated context to be given a chronological value.
However, its use is still helpful where recognizable products of dateable manufacture are found in undated contexts with no possibility of using a technique.
So in the absence of geochronology, two cultural groups can only be proved contemporary by the discovery of links between them.
A chronology is relative/floating when only the order of a succession of facts is known, but not their dates, and absolute when the opposite is true.
For periods or areas for which no textual evidence is available, relative chronologies have to be established and these are mostly based on pottery sequences and typology.