some of these methodologies are referenced in the other answers.there are several entries in wikipedia which provide good overviews of the question and numerous web sites that explain how to go about archaeological, paleontological and geological as dr.

musch below lists a series of dating techniques usd to determine the ags of fossils and artifacts.

differentiate between relative and radiometric dating of fossils-81

You will investigate Steno's Laws, radiometric dating, and then visit an interactive site that will help you better understand how to tell time - with geology! As you proceed through Assignment 4, be sure to compare your answers from "If Scientists Think. ." to the actual methods scientists use to estimate the age of prehistoric objects.

Because this assignment is linked with your work in Assignment 3, you will have "If Scientists Think. Before scientists had modern technology to assist them in their research, they had to use their power of observation to infer the relative ages of the rocks they were studying.

The Carbon-14 method measures the amount of radioactive carbon-14 in a previously living artifact.

From this information, scientists can accurately infer the age of the test material.

In addition to the "relative" uncertainty that the geological features of an area have retained their historical integrity, there is another problem associated with relative dating.

By looking at layers of rocks, scientists can tell which layers are older or newer than others; however, they can not tell exactly how old these layers are.

After all, it is possible that rock layers can be disturbed, overturned, and altered in both natural and unnatural ways.

Who's to say that the rocks a particular scientist is studying have not been displaced from their original positions?

This dating technique is known as radiometric dating.

You have probably heard of mummies that have been dated with the Carbon-14 method.

paleomagnetism and isotope ratios along with biostratigraphy identify the strata of the local geology and determine their relative chronology.