Historical dating methods
Clay tablets found in West Asia contain inscriptional evidence with regard to the occurrence of a solar eclipse.Specialists in the field of astronomical research placed this solar eclipse as on 15 June 763 B. The Almanac belonging to Maya culture of Central America helped in dating several important sites accurately on the basis of astronomy.
For example charcoal, wood, shell, paper, leaves, cloth, animal hair, bone, pollen, tooth, iron, prehistoric soot from the ceiling of the caves practically any material containing some carbon can be subjected Bones are generally affected by ground water carbonates and are therefore least reliable for dating.
In such cases subjective element cannot be ruled out.
But, for a single culture site the method is quite reliable.
Basing on this principle, the cultural assemblages found in different layers can be assigned a chronological personality. In practice it is found that the mounds are disturbed9 by all sorts of pits and dumps.
For example, if the cultural contents of the lower deposit are Mauryan in character, appropriately this deposit may be assigned a date between 400-200 B. Similarly, if the cultural equipment of the upper deposit are of the Sunga period, this deposit has to placed between 200-73 B. Quite often, the archaeologist decided the change of stratum on the basis of the feed of the deposit.
Even when the absolute dates are available, we have to supplement the information with relative dating.