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Since the turn of the century, several methods to measure elapsed time have been discovered.The first and simplest method of absolute dating is using objects with dates inscribed on them, such as coins, or objects associated with historical events or documents.First used, and likely invented by archaeologist Sir William Flinders-Petrie in 1899, seriation (or sequence dating) is based on the idea that artifacts change over time.

Stratigraphy is based on the law of superposition--like a layer cake, the lowest layers must have been formed first.The scholar most associated with the rules of stratigraphy (or law of superposition) is probably the geologist Charles Lyell.The basis for stratigraphy seems quite intuitive today, but its applications were no less than earth-shattering to archaeological theory.Each tree then, contains a record of rainfall for the length of its life, expressed in density, trace element content, stable isotope composition, and intra-annual growth ring width.Using local pine trees, Douglass built a 450 year record of the tree ring variability.

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