The Mayan calendar used 3114 BC as their reference.
In a stratigraphical context objects closer to the surface are more recent in time relative to items deeper in the ground.
Although relative dating can work well in certain areas, several problems arise.
There are two techniques for dating in archaeological sites: relative and absolute dating.
Relative dating stems from the idea that something is younger or older relative to something else.
The dating process is always designed to try to extract the carbon from a sample which is most representative of the original organism.
In general it is always better to date a properly identified single entity (such as a cereal grain or an identified bone) rather than a mixture of unidentified organic remains.
Radiocarbon dating uses isotopes of the element carbon. Cosmic rays – high energy particles from beyond the solar system – bombard Earth’s upper atmosphere continually, in the process creating the unstable carbon-14. Because it’s unstable, carbon-14 will eventually decay back to carbon-12 isotopes.
Because the cosmic ray bombardment is fairly constant, there’s a near-constant level of carbon-14 to carbon-12 ratio in Earth’s atmosphere.
Radiocarbon dating is one of the most widely used scientific dating methods in archaeology and environmental science.
It can be applied to most organic materials and spans dates from a few hundred years ago right back to about 50,000 years ago - about when modern humans were first entering Europe.
The Greeks consider the first Olympic Games as the beginning or 776 BC.