Dating of earliest human bones


This discovery pushes back the oldest fossil evidence of our own species by 100,000 years—the previous oldest Homo sapiens remains came from Omo Kibish, in Ethiopia, and date to 195,000 years ago.

Scientists now have accurate methods (see below ) for dating fossils. Absolute dating methods such as the potassium/argon and argon-argon methods of dating fossils provide a precise measure of the date of fossil remains or associated minerals. Relative dating methods rely on characteristic faunal and geological patterns to bracket the period when the fossil existed.

Another view of the cliff behind which lies Chauvet Cave. The present entrance and the original or Paleo entrance are shown in red and blue respectively. The original entrance was closed, covered in scree which fell from the cliff above, more than 20 000 years ago.

Photo: adapted from Chauvet, Deschamps et Hillaire (1996)


Dating of earliest human bones

Dating of earliest human bones



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