Dating fossils and artifacts

Sterkfontein has produced some of the most famous hominid fossils in the world, together with a range of other fossils of animals and plants.

The site has a very high concentration of fossils – the highest in the Cradle of Humankind – which, as a whole, has produced more fossils of early hominids than any other site on Earth.

Archaeology is an important field of anthropology, which is the broad study of human culture and biology.

Archaeologists concentrate their studies on past societies and changes in those societies over extremely long periods of time.

Palaeoanthropology is the scientific study of hominid fossils and their cultural material and origins.

Sterkfontein is home to one of the world’s longest running palaeontological excavations.

Archaeology also examines many of the same topics explored by historians.

But unlike historythe study of written records such as government archives, personal correspondence, and business documentsmost of the information gathered in archaeology comes from the study of objects lying on or under the ground Archaeologists refer to the vast store of information about the human past as the archaeological record.

- "Abbreviation for the term Anno Domini Nostri Jesu Christi (or simply Anno Domini) which means ""in the year of our Lord Jesus Christ."" Years are counted from the traditionally recognized year of the birth of Jesus. E.)." Absolute Dating - Collective term for techniques that assign specific dates or date ranges, in calendar years, to artifacts and other archaeological finds.

This grid system enabled them to record the horizontal and vertical positions of the excavated fossils and artefacts.

Brain also discovered stone artefacts at Swartkrans that are between 1.7-million and 1.4-million years old, and are associated with remains of early Homo.

In this section of Methods of Gathering Data you will learn how archaeologists gather and analyze information by utilizing historical research techniques, field methods for data recovery, and laboratory analyses.

Back to top Every archaeology project begins with a research design –a plan that describes why the archaeology is being done, what research questions it hopes to answer, and the methods and techniques that will be used to gather and analyze the artifacts and other archaeological materials.