The three-age system devised by the Danish archaeologist Christian Thomsen in the 1830s made use of technological criteria.
According to this system, humans passed through three distinct stages of technological development, based on the primary material used to manufacture tools and weapons: the Stone Age, the Bronze Age, and the Iron Age.
Stratigraphic dating is accomplished by interpreting the significance of geological or archaeological strata, or layers.
The method begins with the careful drawing and description of strata (the geological or archaeological profile).
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This information may then be used to surmise the relative age of unstratified deposits (e.g., surface sites).
Technological changes can be used for relative dating of archaeological material.
Igneous masses are dated according to whether they caused metamorphism in the surrounding rock (proof of emplacement in preexisting rock) or whether sediments were deposited on them after they were formed.
In geology, a master stratigraphic sequence for a particular region is built up by correlating the strata from different locations with one another.