Method of historical dating

Typically, you might receive a date of 3800-4000 years BP (before present).

Here are some of the most common absolute dating methods.

Also known as “Chronometric Dating” (2) or numerical dating (3), absolute dating aims to put a specific age or date on an object, layer or other material remains.

There is always a margin of error and in some cases, the date will be calibrated and given a range.

Ever since The Enlightenment, and possibly even before that, researchers have attempted to understand the chronology of the world around us, to figure out precisely when each stage in our geological, biological and cultural evolution took place.

Even when the only science we had to go on was religious literature and the western world believed the world was created in 4004BC (1), scholars tried to figure out when each biblical event took place, to define a chronology from savagery to civilization, from creation to the first animal, then to the emergence of the first people.

For example, astronomy uses some relative dating methods to calculate the age of the surface of planets by methods other than its materials, especially where physical samples are impossible to acquire.

Sometimes, we see them used in forensic science such as criminal investigations to determine the time and date a crime was committed, commonly when dating the time of death of a homicide victim.

However, it remains useful to astronomers and astrophysicists in dating meteorites and other extraterrestrial deposits on Earth.

Amino acid dating: This relatively new form of absolute dating is useful in archaeology, anthropology, paleobiology, molecular biology and anything else that may study organic substances to pinpoint an actual date or define a date range.

It's found a great use in the tracking of human migrations in antiquity, demonstrating earlier arrival of humans into North America - pushing dates back from 15,000 years to 50,000 years (4).

The second is water deposition which essentially “freezes” that magnetic particle in places (5).

The method is not as limited as we might think; it's been a vital method for some 70 years in discovering dates for ancient archaeological/anthropological deposits. Dendrochronology/Herbchronology: Dendrochronology is the study of tree ring growth and comparing a sequence to an accumulated database to come up with precise dates for events.

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