Chronological datingor simply datingis the process of attributing to an object or event a date in the past, allowing such object or event to be located in a previously established chronology. This usually requires what is commonly known as a "dating method". Several dating methods exist, depending on different criteria and techniques, and some very well known examples of disciplines using such techniques are, for example, historyarchaeologygeologypaleontologyastronomy and even forensic sciencesince in the latter it is sometimes necessary to investigate the moment in the past in which the death of a cadaver occurred. Dating methods are most commonly classified following two criteria: relative dating and absolute dating.
The emergence of man through the process of biological and cultural evolution is a story of long span of time.
Without the ability to date archaeological sites and specific contexts within them, archaeologists would be unable to study cultural change and continuity over time. No wonder, then, that so much effort has been devoted to developing increasingly sophisticated and precise methods for determining when events happened in the past. Chronometric dating techniques produce a specific chronological date or date range for some event in the past.
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