Compare relative dating and radioactive dating
Radiometric methods, such as radiocarbon dating and radiopotassium dating utilize the regular radioactive decay of isotopes from one form to another.
Measuring the ratio of the two forms provides date information.
The chances of fossilization are very slim, because it requires that the remains be quickly buried and be kept in an oxygen-free environment.
Scavenger and bacterial activity must be prevented so that decomposition is limited.
Fossils are found in a variety of rock, but most often in sedimentary rock, which forms from the accumulation of sediments.
The replacement of organic materials with inorganic materials is not always complete, as DNA is sometimes preserved within the fossil.
While early hominids likely lived throughout the entire continent, it is in the specific regions where paleoanthropologists have had the most success at discovering fossils.
This law is the important for stratigraphic dating, because fossils, bones, or other objects incorporated into these layers can be compared to each other to determine relative ages.
Those materials in the lowest layers are the oldest, while those that are in the highest levels are the youngest.
They do not provide “exact” dates for the materials.
Relative methods include stratigraphic correlation, which matches strata from different sites that are temporally comparable.