Examples of relative dating archaeology

Given the current status of direct chronometric dating methods for Arabian petroglyphs, it is rare that the precise age of a rock art panel can be determined.However, all is not lost, and it is possible to establish a temporal sequence that can be quite edifying.In this case, a rock art panel may be judged to be younger, older or basically contemporaneous with another petroglyph, a site, an artifact, or other evidence of known antiquity.

The most common Neolithic scenes are of hunter-herders with bows and arrows and throwing sticks, which are similar to a boomerang.

This is not typical of the rock art in Saudi Arabia, however, which tends to be exposed and lacking any settlement or camp next to the cliff face.

A palimpsest of animals from different ages at Shuwaymis: Faint images of Neolithic aurochsen (wild cattle), more recent camels and cavalryman, still younger men with exaggerated hands.

On rare occasion, archaeological deposits can accumulate up against a petroglyph panel, concealing part or all of the art.

In that case, it may be possible to discern a minimum age for the art because its creation had to precede the archaeological deposit covering it.

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