For more information on stratigraphy and how it is used in archaeology, see the Stratigraphy glossary entry.
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.
After the 'death' of these organic materials the Carbon-14 atoms decay. Therefore it is possible to measure the number of these atoms in organic materials to obtain quantified information on the date of an item.
The method has a margin of accuracy of several hundred years and it is therefore not useful to fix dates in historic periods, but very useful for prehistory (in Egypt before 3000 BC).
For their own religious and administrative purposes, the Egyptians compiled lists of kings, sometimes with the exact length of reign.