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It was now possible to assign a calendar date to archaeological sites in the American southwest for over 1000 years.Determining calendar rates using dendrochronology is a matter of matching known patterns of light and dark rings to those recorded by Douglass and his successors.The main drawback to dendrochronology is its reliance on the existence of relatively long-lived vegetation with annual growth rings.

There are dendrochronological records for Europe and the Aegean, and the International Tree Ring Database has contributions from 21 different countries.

Seriation, on the other hand, was a stroke of genius.

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.

Without those, the archaeologists were in the dark as to the age of various societies. The use of tree ring data to determine chronological dates, dendrochronology, was first developed in the American southwest by astronomer Andrew Ellicott Douglass.

In 1901, Douglass began investigating tree ring growth as an indicator of solar cycles.

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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.