What are relative and absolute dating used for

Absolute dating is the process of determining an age on a specified chronology in archaeology and geology. Some scientists prefer the terms chronometric or calendar dating , as use of the word "absolute" implies an unwarranted certainty of accuracy. In archaeology, absolute dating is usually based on the physical, chemical, and life properties of the materials of artifacts, buildings, or other items that have been modified by humans and by historical associations with materials with known dates coins and written history. Techniques include tree rings in timbers, radiocarbon dating of wood or bones, and trapped-charge dating methods such as thermoluminescence dating of glazed ceramics. In historical geology , the primary methods of absolute dating involve using the radioactive decay of elements trapped in rocks or minerals, including isotope systems from very young radiocarbon dating with 14 C to systems such as uranium—lead dating that allow acquisition of absolute ages for some of the oldest rocks on Earth.
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Archaeological Dating: Stratigraphy and Seriation

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Archaeological Dating: Stratigraphy and Seriation

Geology can also include the study of the solid features of any terrestrial planet or natural satellite such as Mars or the Moon. Modern geology significantly overlaps all other Earth sciences, including hydrology and the atmospheric sciences , and so is treated as one major aspect of integrated Earth system science and planetary science. Geology describes the structure of the Earth on and beneath its surface, and the processes that have shaped that structure. It also provides tools to determine the relative and absolute ages of rocks found in a given location, and also to describe the histories of those rocks. Geology provides the primary evidence for plate tectonics , the evolutionary history of life , and the Earth's past climates.
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Relative and absolute ages in the histories of Earth and the Moon: The Geologic Time Scale

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In academic, historical, and archaeological circles, A. Dates are determined by a variety of processes, including chemical analyses as in radiocarbon dating and thermoluminescence , data correlation as in dendrochronology , and a variety of other tests. See Relative Dating.
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