For those researchers working in the field of human history, the chronology of events remains a major element of reflection.
Archaeologists have access to various techniques for dating archaeological sites or the objects found on those sites.
Knowing when a dinosaur or other animal lived is important because it helps us place them on the evolutionary family tree.
Different methods have their own limitations, especially with regard to the age range they can measure and the substances they can date.
A common problem with any dating method is that a sample may be contaminated with older or younger material and give a false age.
Sometimes, scientists already know the age of the fossil because fossils of the same species have been found elsewhere and it has been possible to establish accurately from those when the dinosaur lived.
Geologists call this the principle of lateral continuity.
On the other hand, absolute dating includes all methods that provide figures about the real estimated age of archaeological objects or occupations.
These methods usually analyze physicochemical transformation phenomena whose rate are known or can be estimated relatively well.
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This approach helps to order events chronologically but it does not provide the absolute age of an object expressed in years.