Difference between absolute and relative dating fossils

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Continue Reading Relative age comes up often in various fields, such as archeology.

If archaeologists find a site with layers in it, they can make assumptions about the relative age based on the composition of materials in each layer.

Wiens has a Ph D in Physics, with a minor in Geology.

He is presently employed in the Space & Atmospheric Sciences Group at the Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Relative age allows scientists to know whether something is older or younger than something else, while absolute age means that scientists know the exact number in years that have passed since the object was created.

Relative age will require the comparison of two or more objects, whereas absolute age does not.

Techniques include tree rings in timbers, radiocarbon dating of wood or bones, and trapped charge dating methods such as thermoluminescence dating of glazed ceramics.

Coins found in excavations may have their production date written on them, or there may be written records describing the coin and when it was used, allowing the site to be associated with a particular calendar year.

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