The good dates are confirmed using at least two different methods, ideally involving multiple independent labs for each method to cross-check results. Sometimes only one method is possible, reducing the confidence researchers have in the results. Kidding aside, dating a find is crucial for understanding its significance and relation to other fossils or artifacts. Methods fall into one of two categories: relative or absolute.
Oldest Bones from Modern Humans in Asia Discovered
Stunning New Fossil Suggests Humans Left Africa Far Earlier Than We Thought - HISTORY
Dating refers to the archaeological tool to date artefacts and sites, and to properly construct history. Relative techniques can determine the sequence of events but not the precise date of an event, making these methods unreliable. This method includes carbon dating and thermoluminescence. The first method was based on radioactive elements whose property of decay occurs at a constant rate, known as the half-life of the isotope. Today, many different radioactive elements have been used, but the most famous absolute dating method is radiocarbon dating, which uses the isotope 14 C. This isotope, which can be found in organic materials and can be used only to date organic materials, has been incorrectly used by many to make dating assumptions for non-organic material such as stone buildings. The half-life of 14 C is approximately years, which is too short for this method to be used to date material millions of years old.
An international archaeological research team, led by Israel Hershkovitz from Tel Aviv University and including Rolf Quam from Binghamton University, has discovered the earliest modern human fossil ever found outside of Africa , which could change the human evolution timeline. The finding suggests that modern humans left the continent at least 50, years earlier than previously thought. It also means that modern humans were potentially meeting and interacting during a longer period of time with other archaic human groups, providing more opportunity for cultural and biological exchanges.
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