Uses of mass spectrometry in radioactive dating
For a sculptural masterpiece from the late Neolithic of southern Europe, see the terracotta sculpture known as The Thinker of Cernavoda (c.5000 BCE, National Museum of Romanian History, Bucharest).
In order to confirm that the object is contemporaneous with the soil or sedimentary deposit in which it was found, and not a later intrusive burial in an older deposit, comparisons with other fossils, rocks and rock strata are made to establish the site's biostratigraphy.
Thus sometimes, dating is dependent on paleontologist scholarship to provide the historical context against which an artifact's relevance and age can be assessed, through stylistic comparison with cave paintings and engravings at other archeological sites.
At present, a large variety of fossils, tools and artifacts are being studied by paleoanthropologists and other Stone Age scholars, in order to fix their date of origin.
The first Near East civilizations (Minoan, Mycenean) appear. From about 400 BCE - as Greek art begins to dazzle - we leave prehistory and enter great era of Classical Antiquity characterized by Greek sculpture and Greek Pottery and the more sobre style of Roman art.
Trade flourishes around the Mediterranean, leading to exchange of artistic techniques and materials. Early Chinese Pottery also flourished, as did the art of India.Once contemporaneity has been established the age of the object can be assessed, sometimes quite precisely, using techniques of "absolute" or chronological dating.