Fossil dating techniques

One of the most widely used and well-known absolute dating techniques is carbon-14 (or radiocarbon) dating, which is used to date organic remains.This is a radiometric technique since it is based on radioactive decay.However, by itself a fossil has little meaning unless it is placed within some context.

Some archaeologists prefer the terms chronometric or calendar dating, as use of the word "absolute" implies a certainty and precision that is rarely possible in archaeology.Putting together the pieces of the puzzle of human biological history is the task of paleontologists, geologists and anthropologists.In this room we explore how these scientists can reconstruct the past from their studies of the geological contexts in which fossils are found, the dating of the specimens, their comparative anatomy with extinct and living species of our taxonomic order, the Primates, and the lifeways and behavior patterns of the first members of the human family within the Primates.Understanding the ages of related fossil species helps scientists piece together the evolutionary history of a group of organisms.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.So Curtis and others redated the KBS tuff using selected pumice and feldspar samples, and obtained an age of 1.82 million years.

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