Thus, to be considered as archaeological, the remains, objects or artifacts to be dated must be related to human activity.It is commonly assumed that if the remains or elements to be dated are older than the human species, the disciplines which study them are sciences such geology or paleontology, among some others.Paleointensity estimates were obtained following the IZZI-Thellier protocol.Seven specimens from 5 samples provided reliable results (success rate of 35%), giving an average paleointensity for these specimens of 30.88 ± 2.39 μT.Dating is carried out mainly post excavation, but to support good practice, some preliminary dating work called "spot dating" is usually run in tandem with excavation.Dating is very important in archaeology for constructing models of the past, as it relies on the integrity of dateable objects and samples.
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.
Nevertheless, the range of time within archaeological dating can be enormous compared to the average lifespan of a singular human being.
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.
This usually requires what is commonly known as a "dating method".
Several dating methods exist, depending on different criteria and techniques, and some very well known examples of disciplines using such techniques are, for example, history, archaeology, geology, paleontology, astronomy and even forensic science, since in the latter it is sometimes necessary to investigate the moment in the past in which the death of a cadaver occurred.