A number of methods are used, all of which have their advantages, limitations and level of accuracy.
Complex dating problems often use a variety of techniques and information to arrive at the best answer.
It uses the fact that natural carbon contains a known ratio of ordinary carbon and the radioactive isotope carbon-14, and that this mix is reflected in carbon taken up by living organic materials such as wood, shells and bones.
This 'law of superimposition' works in the well-defined layers of the Willandra lunettes, but only dates objects as younger or older than adjacent layers.
To determine the year age (absolute age) of an object, a number of chemical and radioactive techniques can be used.
Thus this list of the earliest art by our ancestors like Homo erectus, Homo heidelbergensis, Homo neanderthalensis, and Homo sapiens sapiens - should be seen merely as a snapshot of an ongoing process of discovery.
Only recently (2012), we have seen the chronology of Paleolithic art and culture changed completely by Uranium/Thorium dating tests on the cave art of El Castillo and Altamira.
Working out how old archaeological remains are is a vital part of archaeology.
Scientific dating has confirmed the long residence of Aboriginal people in Australia.Four main methods have been used in Willandra archaeology.This well known method was the first technique that became available for accurate dating of old materials.The method also assumes a 'zeroing' event in the life of the material, when it was either last heated or exposed to sunlight.Here is a list of the top 10 oldest works of Prehistoric art created during the Stone Age.Optical dating, also known as optically stimulated luminescence (OSL), dates the last time mineral sediments (usually quartz or feldspar grains ) were exposed to sunlight.