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For example, in comparing the cross-section of the series of geological strata illustrated below, level 4 is older than 5 because it is below it. At a higher probability, the plus or minus factor will be larger.
This does not tell us how many years ago these strata were laid down. Many different calendar systems have been created around the world. The fact that chronometric dates are only approximations of the actual age does not mean that they should be distrusted.
There are two techniques for dating in archaeological sites: relative and absolute dating.
Relative dating stems from the idea that something is younger or older relative to something else.
In a stratigraphical context objects closer to the surface are more recent in time relative to items deeper in the ground.