Seriation was developed in the USA to place in order finds from strata or other kinds of assemblages such as potsherds collected from the surface of sites.
Prehistorians sometimes overestimate the accuracy and detail of frameworks based on historical evidence; in practice, early written sources may provide little more information than a scatter of radiocarbon dates.
It must be made clear at the outset that typology is not, strictly speaking, a dating method, but a means of placing artefacts into some kind of order.
Classification divides things up for the purposes of description, whereas typology seeks to identify and analyse changes that will allow artefacts to be placed into sequences.
Relative dating includes methods that rely on the analysis of comparative data or the context (eg, geological, regional, cultural) in which the object one wishes to date is found.