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Absolute dating is a method of determining the specific date of a paleontological or archaeological artifact or location based on a specific time scale or calendar.
Scientists base absolute dating on measurable physical or chemical changes or on written records of events.
Using these methods, the scientist determines a date range for when an event took place rather than where it fits in the overall record. The techniques scientist need for absolute dating did not become available until the later half of the 20th century.
Absolute dating uses clues, such as the emperor's face on a coin, to date an artifact.