Absolute dating numerical age
Relative dating was a precursor to absolute dating.
Before absolute dating techniques were discovered, the age of a rock was a guesstimate at best.
Both relative dating and absolute dating are procedures used to give temporal characteristics to a sequence of events.
Relative dating is determined by comparing its placement with that of fossils in other layers of rock.
Short Answer: The term relative dating is distinguished from absolute dating to make it clear that one does not get a specific estimate of the age of an object from relative dating, but one does get such an estimate of true age from absolute dating.
There are several techniques employed in both sets of methods. Long Answer: Sciences such as geology, paleontology and archeology are very interested in identifying the age of objects found and these scientists sometimes use both relative dating or absolute dating to characterize the age of the objects they study.
Radioactive dating allows us to find an approximate date. Relative age dating is a scientific process of evaluation used to determine the relative order of past events, but does not determine the absolute age of an object or date of an event.
So if something is dated about a thousand years ago plus or minus… Relative dating gives a relative answer -10 years after the end of the civil war. Both relative dating and absolute dating are complimentary tools tools used to assign temporal characteristics to a sequence of events.