The method begins with the careful drawing and description of strata (the geological or archaeological profile).The profile from one location is then compared with profiles from surrounding sites.
Before the 20th cent., archaeologists and geologists were largely limited to the use of relative dating techniques.
Estimates of the absolute age of prehistoric and geological events and remains amounted to little more than inspired guesswork, as there was no scientific basis for testing such proposals.
However, as the basic principles of relative dating progressed during the course of the 19th cent., investigators were able to correctly determine the relative age of many archaeological and geological materials.
Stratigraphic dating is accomplished by interpreting the significance of geological or archaeological strata, or layers.
the determination of the age of an object, of a natural phenomenon, or of a series of events.
There are two basic types of dating methods, relative and absolute.In relative dating, the temporal order of a sequence of events is determined, allowing the investigator to surmise whether a particular object or event is older or younger than, or occurred before or after, another object or event.In absolute or chronometric dating, the investigator establishes the age of an object or event in calendar years.In geology, a master stratigraphic sequence for a particular region is built up by correlating the strata from different locations with one another.As new locations are investigated, the geologist attempts to fit the new profiles into the master sequence of geological strata for that region.The depth of the strata within the master sequence provides the investigator with the relative date of any particular profile.