Dating Methods Essay

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General Differances Between Relative and Absolute Dating Methods

Getting dates for fossils that are found in sites being excavated by anthropologist is very important. Dates show the evolution from early hominid specimens to our own species, Homo homo sapiens. There are many methods that can be used to acquire these dates, but all of these methods fall into one of two catorgories. They can either give a absolute date or a relative date. An absolute date is one in which you get an actual date in years. Also known as chronometric methods. Relative dates do not give an actual date in terms of years, but they tell you if one fossil is older or younger than another fossil.

Ushally relative dates are given in terms of the
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Absolute dates are given in the form of years, while a relative date can only tell you how much older or younger something is from something else, but not by how much in terms of years. Absolute dates are taken from internal evidence while relative dates are taken by where the fossil was found and it’s association too the other fossils or layers of sediment.(Comas 455)

Absolute Methods Relative Methods Potassium-Argon Biostratigraphy Flourine Analysis Paleomagnetism Carbon-14 Fission-Track Three Important Dating Methods used in Physical Anthropology

Potassium is a element that is very commonly found around and near the earth’s crust. Natural potassium cantians a small and constant amount of the radioactive form called potassium-40.

This 40K is the isotope that decays at a constant rate. As this potassium-40 decays i a portion of it turns to argon gas. This argon is a gas that can become trapped in the rock that has been heated and cooled by frequent volcanic activity that the earth has gone through since the beginning of time.(Johnston 214)

We know how much of the isotope 40K is contianed in each gram of potassium. That means that it is
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