Ancient dating methods dating sims for kids

Scientific papers and news reports about new fossils so regularly come with estimates of age that it’s easy forget how hard-won such data can be.I asked John Hawks, a biologist at the University of Wisconsin and one of the heads of the Rising Star expedition, to talk me through the various available methods—and why they have been difficult to apply to the latest finds.Scientists use a technique called radiometric dating to estimate the ages of rocks, fossils, and the earth.

For instance, the site of Hisarlik in western Turkey comprises a manmade earthen mound, also known to archaeologists as a tell, which is covered by of nine layers of strata, the lowest of which appears to be the oldest.The technique people are most likely to have heard of is carbon dating.It hinges upon the presence of carbon-14, a radioactive isotope of carbon that accumulates in the bodies of animals throughout our lives, and gradually decays after we die.It would be hard to imagine modern archaeology without this elegant and precise timing method.Now with carbon-14 and other modern dating techniques we have a very good idea how old things are.