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hundreds of millennia) from which an archaeological, palaeontological or geological phenomenon supposedly ‘dates’.The corruption imposed on the first meaning becomes apparent when the term is used in the second meaning but the precision implicit in the first meaning is often attributed to such usage.

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But there are difficulties with each step in collecting this kind of evidence.

Petroglyphs are made by removing the outer dark surface of rocks, called rock varnish or patina, to reveal the lighter rock underneath.

Beyond engravings, the oldest reliably-dated rock art in Australia is 28,000 years old.

Articles on rock art dating For a cutting-edge current rock art dating project, see: The EIP Project: dating the oldest known rock art in the world It has long been apparent to philosophers of science that confusion concerning scientific matters is usually attributable to shortcomings of language.

"Many archaeologists have thought rock art has been a part of Aboriginal culture since earliest times...

but it's an inference." Pillans and colleague Keith Fifield have argued that rocks bearing Aboriginal engravings on the Burrup Peninsula have the potential to preserve the engravings for 50,000 to 60,000 years, but they have done no direct dating of the engravings themselves.

The high artistic quality of the earliest paintings underlines the importance of absolute chronology in any attempt to study the evolution of prehistoric art.

Crosby said that until archaeologists are able to substantiate the rock art dates with other well-dated materials the mystery of the painters will remain.

Missionaries who were familiar with the paintings confirm this belief in their journals where they write of asking the Cochimi about the paintings and being told a widespread tale that the paintings were done by a race of giant people long past.

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