Earlier deposits are much less frequent, most probably due to Holocene sea level rise, resulting in the submergence of palaeoshorelines and the associated archaeological evidence ().
used to estimate the age of a specimen in paleobiology, molecular paleontology, archaeology, forensic science, taphonomy, sedimentary geology and other fields.
Establishing an accurate and reliable chronology for these deposits has fundamental implications for understanding the patterns of human evolution and dispersal.
Techniques include tree rings in timbers, radiocarbon dating of wood or bones, and trapped charge dating methods such as thermoluminescence dating of glazed ceramics.Chemical Whale Tales Since 1981, whale hunters in Alaska have found at least six harpoon heads in bowhead whales that they have killed in the Beaufort Sea, southwest of the Arctic Ocean. Anthropologists at the Smithsonian Institution (Washington, DC) estimate that they are between 130 and 200 years old and were probably used by Inupiat hunters in the late 1700s.This circumstantial evidence led Craig George and fellow researchers at the Department of Wildlife Management (North Slope Borough, Barrow, AK) to believe that bowhead whales, named for their exaggerated jaw curve, could have a life span of more than 200 years.Some scientists prefer the terms chronometric or calendar dating, as use of the word "absolute" implies an unwarranted certainty of accuracy.Absolute dating provides a numerical age or range in contrast with relative dating which places events in order without any measure of the age between events.