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Such was the case at these three sites, where wooden and pollen elements could be dated, providing a speculative chronology for the sites as a whole, but even these are subject to error and constant scrutiny by the academic community.
The dates given for Rapa Nui attract particular debate as they have been used to establish the time of the migration to the island.
The most well known and oft used form of radiometric dating is radiocarbon dating. It has helped define the ages of man in ways never thought possible and led the way for a vanguard of scientific techniques that have further defined time for humanity and beyond.
But what does it actually do and how much can it tell us?
It can date a variety of materials, ranging from, but not necessarily limited to: bone, shell, charcoal, soft tissue, horn, teeth, ivory, hair, blood, wool, silk, leather, paper, parchment, insects, coral, metal if there is charcoal present in it, and sometimes dirt.
However, in the 1940s, the organization of time was transformed by the revelation of radiometric dating and the subsequent creation of a scientific chronology of humankind, known as ‘absolute dating’.
Dates could be assigned based upon scientific evidence rather than on the inconsistent mathematics, historical comparisons and simulated typologies of artifacts that had previously regulated time.
It is used in dating things such as bone, cloth, wood and plant fibers that were created in the relatively recent past by human activities.
Different cultures around the world record time in different fashions.
Throughout history, time has been defined in a variety of ways: by everything from the current ruler, or empire, or not defined at all.