The Mayan calendar used 3114 BC as their reference.More recently is the radiocarbon date of 1950 AD or before present, BP.
There are three carbon isotopes that occur as part of the Earth's natural processes; these are carbon-12, carbon-13 and carbon-14.
The unstable nature of carbon 14 (with a precise half-life that makes it easy to measure) means it is ideal as an absolute dating method.
Strata are differentiated from each other by their different colors or compositions and are exposed in cliffs, quarries, and river banks.
These rocks normally form relatively horizontal, parallel layers, with younger layers forming on top.
There are two techniques for dating in archaeological sites: relative and absolute dating.
Relative dating stems from the idea that something is younger or older relative to something else.
There are several different methods for estimating the ages of fossils, including: Paleontologists rely on stratigraphy to date fossils.
Stratigraphy is the science of understanding the strata, or layers, that form the sedimentary record.
In a stratigraphical context objects closer to the surface are more recent in time relative to items deeper in the ground.
Although relative dating can work well in certain areas, several problems arise.
When it comes to dating archaeological samples, several timescale problems arise.