Dates above and below a location provide minimum and maximum age determinations according to the law of superimposition.
Thermoluminescence is a similar technique to optical dating, but uses heat instead of light to stimulate the minerals.
Artefacts and other materials can be dated in relative terms by observing which layer of sediments they are found in.
This applies the geological principle that under normal circumstances younger layers of sediment will be deposited on top of older layers.
A number of methods are used, all of which have their advantages, limitations and level of accuracy.
Complex dating problems often use a variety of techniques and information to arrive at the best answer.
Optical dating, also known as optically stimulated luminescence (OSL), dates the last time mineral sediments (usually quartz or feldspar grains ) were exposed to sunlight.
To determine the year age (absolute age) of an object, a number of chemical and radioactive techniques can be used.
Furthermore, despite the widening range of archeological dating techniques - such as radiometric carbon dating, Uranium/Thorium and thermo-luminescence dating - not every work of art can be dated with great accuracy if the geological environment lacks important measurable elements.
Thus sometimes, dating is dependent on paleontologist scholarship to provide the historical context against which an artifact's relevance and age can be assessed, through stylistic comparison with cave paintings and engravings at other archeological sites.
Working out how old archaeological remains are is a vital part of archaeology.
Scientific dating has confirmed the long residence of Aboriginal people in Australia.
Not surprisingly, those skeptical of the Bible and quick to criticize it claimed these results somehow disproved the Scriptures.