Dating techniques in archaeology
For their own religious and administrative purposes, the Egyptians compiled lists of kings, sometimes with the exact length of reign.
Fragments of such lists survived ('Palermo stone'); none of them is well enough preserved to solve every detail of absolute chronology.
C-14 dates are often published as dates 'before present' (the 'present' was fixed for analytical reasons at a single point, and the year AD 1950 was chosen for this) with the indication of the inaccuracy.
Stratigraphy is the oldest of the relative dating methods that archaeologists use to date things.
Typological dating may foster the tendency to assume that each step in development is of about the same time length, but this does not need to be the case in reality.
All living organic materials contain Carbon-14 atoms in a constant number.
For Egypt and the Eastern Mediterranean, this method from European prehistory is currently under development in a project based at Vienna.
Archaeologists use many different techniques to determine the age of a particular artifact, site, or part of a site.