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It is commonly assumed that if the remains or elements to be dated are older than the human species, the disciplines which study them are sciences such geology or paleontology, among some others.Nevertheless, the range of time within archaeological dating can be enormous compared to the average lifespan of a singular human being.For example, in a stratum presenting difficulties or ambiguities to absolute dating, paleopalynology can be used as a relative referent by means of the study of the pollens found in the stratum.This is admitted because of the simple reason that some botanical species, whether extinct or not, are well known as belonging to a determined position in the scale of time.Dating is very important in archaeology for constructing models of the past, as it relies on the integrity of dateable objects and samples.Many disciplines of archaeological science are concerned with dating evidence, but in practice several different dating techniques must be applied in some circumstances, thus dating evidence for much of an archaeological sequence recorded during excavation requires matching information from known absolute or some associated steps, with a careful study of stratigraphic relationships.It was the case of an 18th-century sloop whose excavation was led in South Carolina (United States) in 1992.Thus, from the oldest to the youngest, all archaeological sites are likely to be dated by an appropriate method.

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Radiocarbon present in molecules of atmospheric carbon dioxide enters the biological carbon cycle: it is absorbed from the air by green plants and then passed on to animals through the food chain.

Chronological dating, or simply dating, is the process of attributing to an object or event a date in the past, allowing such object or event to be located in a previously established chronology.

This usually requires what is commonly known as a "dating method".

In this relative dating method, Latin terms ante quem and post quem are usually used to indicate both the oldest and the most recent possible moments when an event occurred or an artifact was left in a stratum.

But this method is also useful in many other disciplines.

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