A huge development in the story of humans is ‘modern’ behaviour, or acting like a human as opposed to acting like a two-legged ape – but it’s hard to date.
For example, it’s difficult to say exactly when people started to think abstract thoughts or speak to communicate.
‘Then you start to find the problems with it.’ Atmospheric carbon variations, including variability in the all-important carbon-14, left the method unreliable. that we could begin to correct for some of these variations in radiocarbon production,’ Walker says.
Although carbon dating is now more reliable, it has one major drawback: it only goes back 50,000 years, leaving most of human history outside its reach.
‘We’ve got dates that are tantalisingly close to the point at which modern humans arrived,’ explains Pike. hand stencils to see whether or not dates come out in the period where we know there were only Neanderthals in northern Spain.’The issue of Neanderthal art regularly appears in the media, but is controversial in the academic world.
For some, it fits in with emerging evidence that Neanderthals were an intelligent human species, but others remain unconvinced.
But because the stencil date is a minimum age, there’s a chance the Neanderthals could have been the artists.Though originally a field reserved for archaeologists, physical scientists like Walker are showing that they also have crucial contributions to make.With the help of new physical and chemical dating methods, scientists are finally beginning to discover how and when archaic species became…Regardless, if there is evidence to find that Neanderthals were artists, dating will be the thing to expose it.According to Walker, the importance of this type of dating can’t be overestimated.