Method of historical dating

Just as in an individual’s life, some birthdates may be so important that the whole culture chooses them as the reference point for its dating system. We are all quite familiar with the BC/AD dating system.

It uses Christ’s birth year as the zero point—all other years are based upon that one.

method of historical dating-4

Relative techniques can determine the sequence of events but not the precise date of an event, making these methods unreliable.The absolute dating method first appeared in 1907 with Lord Rutherford and Professor Boltwood at Yale University, but wasn’t accepted until the 1950s.The first method was based on radioactive elements whose property of decay occurs at a constant rate, known as the half-life of the isotope.As a result, his determination of the birth year of Christ was apparently off by about 4 years, but the error was not realized until centuries after the system had come into general use, leading to the strange circumstance that Christ was actually born in approximately 4 BC.The designations BC and AD deserve a brief explanation at this point.In other words, artifacts found in the upper layers of a site will have been deposited more recently than those found in the lower layers.

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