Early methods of absolute age dating

Until this century, relative dating was the only technique for identifying the age of a truly ancient object.By examining the object's relation to layers of deposits in the area, and by comparing the object to others found at the site, archaeologists can estimate when the object arrived at the site.Say for example that a volcanic dike, or a fault, cuts across several sedimentary layers, or maybe through another volcanic rock type.Geologists often need to know the age of material that they find.Carbon-14 is also passed onto the animals that eat those plants.After death the amount of carbon-14 in the organic specimen decreases very regularly as the molecules decay.There are three main assumptions that must be made to accept radiometric dating methods.

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Here is an easy-to understand analogy for your students: relative age dating is like saying that your grandfather is older than you.Geologists draw on it and other basic principles ( to determine the relative ages of rocks or features such as faults.Relative age dating also means paying attention to crosscutting relationships.Though still heavily used, relative dating is now augmented by several modern dating techniques.Radiocarbon dating involves determining the age of an ancient fossil or specimen by measuring its carbon-14 content.

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