Prehistoric dating

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.

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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.Green plants absorb the carbon dioxide, so the population of carbon-14 molecules is continually replenished until the plant dies.Carbon-14 is also passed onto the animals that eat those plants.Radiocarbon dating involves determining the age of an ancient fossil or specimen by measuring its carbon-14 content.Carbon-14, or radiocarbon, is a naturally occurring radioactive isotope that forms when cosmic rays in the upper atmosphere strike nitrogen molecules, which then oxidize to become carbon dioxide.Archaeologists have access to various techniques for dating archaeological sites or the objects found on those sites.

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