Hard corr cam chat - Radio carbon dating dinosaurs

"It's very likely that there is something extremely old in Australia but it's just very hard to date," says David.

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Not only did this protect the artwork from the elements, but it also provided a good environment for the production of these dateable layers.

"Australia doesn't have much art in deep limestone caves," says David.

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"These were dated using radiocarbon dating of charcoal buried at the same depth of engravings," he says.

Beyond engravings, the oldest reliably-dated rock art in Australia is 28,000 years old.

It's a fragment of a charcoal cave painting found buried in an Arnhem Land cave by David and colleagues.

The fragment was both preserved and dateable by being buried in carbon-containing soil But dating most rock art isn't usually quite so straightforward.

Australia is blessed with many beautiful examples of Aboriginal cave paintings and engravings but what does science tell us about how old they are?

What are the different methods used to date such artworks?

Indeed, he says, the richest collections of rock art in the Kimberley, Arnhem Land, Cape York Peninsula, are on sandstone.

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