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As an example Pinnacle Point's caves, in the southern coast of South Africa, provided evidence that marine resources (shellfish) have been regularly exploited by humans as of 170,000 years ago.
On the other hand, remains as recent as a hundred years old can also be the target of archaeological dating methods.
Also, because Earth formed as part of our sun’s family of planets – our solar system – scientists use radiometric dating to determine the ages of extraterrestrial objects, such as meteorites.
These are space rocks that once orbited our sun, but later entered Earth’s atmosphere and struck our world’s surface.
Historians, for example, know that Shakespeare's play Henry V was not written before 1587 because Shakespeare's primary source for writing his play was the second edition of Raphael Holinshed's Chronicles, not published until 1587.
This technique is based on a comparison between the measured amount of a naturally occurring radioactive element and its decay products, assuming a constant rate of decay – known as a half-life.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.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.