Start Radiocarbon dating of rock

Radiocarbon dating of rock

In Nyerup's time, archaeologists could date the past only by using recorded histories, which in Europe were based mainly on the Egyptian calendar.

However, by itself a fossil has little meaning unless it is placed within some context.

The age of the fossil must be determined so it can be compared to other fossil species from the same time period.

Using the decays of uranium and thorium, our galaxy has been found to be between 10 and 20 billion years old and the earth has been found to be 4.6 billion years old. Within experimental error, this estimate agrees with the 15 billion year estimate of the age of the Universe.

Despite seeming like a relatively stable place, the Earth's surface has changed dramatically over the past 4.6 billion years.

Each of them typically exists in igneous rock, or rock made from cooled magma.

Fossils, however, form in sedimentary rock -- sediment quickly covers a dinosaur's body, and the sediment and the bones gradually turn into rock.

The most widely known form of radiometric dating is carbon-14 dating.