There are two main methods determining a fossils age, relative dating and absolute dating. Dating a dinosaur skeleton Scientists find out the age of a dinosaur fossil by dating not only the rocks in which it lies, but those below and above it. Here are some of the most common radiometric methods: Radiocarbon dating: Sometimes called carbon dating, this method works on organic material. By using radiometric dating to determine the age of igneous brackets, researchers can accurately determine the age of the sedimentary layers between them. While people are most familiar with carbon dating, carbon dating is rarely applicable to fossils.
For example, they are not sufficiently precise and reliable for estimating when the groups that feature in the Cambrian explosion first evolved, and estimates produced by different approaches to this method may vary as well. Archaeologists also frequently use TL to date ceramics, which are also exposed to high temperatures during manufacture. For example, ammonites have a distinctive feature known as the suture line — where the internal shell layers that separate the individual chambers septae meet the outer shell wall, as shown in Figure 8. Carbon dating uses the decay of carbon to estimate the age of organic materials, such as wood and leather. Egyptologists, for example, created a relative chronology of pre-pharaonic Egypt based on increasing complexity in ceramics found at burial sites.