Absolute dating techniques

Archaeologists use many different techniques to determine the age of a particular artifact, site, or part of a site.Two broad categories of dating or chronometric techniques that archaeologists use are called relative and absolute dating.Knowing when a dinosaur or other animal lived is important because it helps us place them on the evolutionary family tree.Accurate dates also allow us to create sequences of evolutionary change and work out when species appeared or became extinct. These are: Where possible, several different methods are used and each method is repeated to confirm the results obtained and improve accuracy.

However, by itself a fossil has little meaning unless it is placed within some context.For example, based on the primate fossil record, scientists know that living primates evolved from fossil primates and that this evolutionary history took tens of millions of years.By comparing fossils of different primate species, scientists can examine how features changed and how primates evolved through time.Sedimentary rocks are rarely useful for dating because they are made up of bits of older rocks.Uranium is present in many different rocks and minerals, usually in the form of uranium-238.

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