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Dating and Chronology of Prehistoric Art A number of highly sophisticated techniques - such as radiometric testing, Uranium/Thorium dating and thermoluminescence - are now available to help establish the date of ancient artifacts from the Paleolithic era and later.However, dating of ancient art is not an exact science, and results are often dependent on tests performed on the 'layer' of earth and debris in which the artifact was lying, or - in the case of rock engraving - an analysis of the content and style of the markings.It is characterized by more advanced hunter-gathering, fishing and rudimentary forms of cultivation. How did prehistoric man manage to leave behind such a rich cultural heritage of rock art?This era is characterized by farming, domestication of animals, settled communities and the emergence of important ancient civilizations (eg. Answer: by developing a bigger and more sophisticated brain.

The very early hominids included species like Australopithecus afarensis and Paranthropus robustus (brain capacity 350-500 cc).Characterized by a Stone Age subsistence culture and the evolution of the human species from primitive australopiths via Homo erectus and Homo sapiens to anatomically modern humans.See: Paleolithic Art and Culture.- Aurignacian culture (40,000 - 26,000 BCE) - Perigordian (Chatelperronian) culture (35,000-27,000 BCE) - Gravettian culture (26,000 - 20,000 BCE) - Solutrean culture (19,000 – 15,000 BCE) - Magdalenian culture (16,000 - 8,000 BCE)Note: Neither Perigordian (aka Chatelperronian) nor Solutrean cultures are strongly associated with artistic achievements.Brain performance is directly associated with a number of "higher" functions such as language and creative expression.The consensus among most most paleontologists and paleoanthropologists, is that the human species (Homo) split away from gorillas in Africa about 8 million BCE, and from chimpanzees no later than 5 million BCE.