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The scientific community celebrated Dawson's discovery as the long-awaited "missing link" between ape and man and the confirmation of Charles Darwin's theory of evolution.
As the decades passed and new information came to light, however, it became clear that the Piltdown Man was not what he seemed.
The deposit thus occurring forms layers depending on the nature of the material brought in by the people inhabiting the area.
According to this method, the upper deposits are younger and the lower deposits are older.
Even when the absolute dates are available, we have to supplement the information with relative dating.
The various methods of relative dating are; This method depends on the common observation that the height of the habitational area increases as the people continue to live at the same place.
For each dating or chronological method there is a link in the box at right to take you to that section of this page.
Fluorine dating is therefore not the simple procedure that Middleton envisioned.
Instead, other methods are used to work out a fossil’s age.
These include radiometric dating of volcanic layers above or below the fossils or by comparisons to similar rocks and fossils of known ages.
Woodward, who was the curator of the British Museum’s paleontology department, dubbed the discovery Eoanthropus dawsoni, or “Dawson’s Dawn-man,” but he was more commonly known as the Piltdown Man.
The first doubts about Piltdown Man’s legitimacy surfaced in the 1920s and ’30s, with the discovery of other early human remains around the world (such as the Taung skull in South Africa, now known as Australopithecus).
Knowing when a dinosaur or other animal lived is important because it helps us place them on the evolutionary family tree.