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Radiocarbon dating has grown exponentially, and many problems and inaccuracies have been isolated and examined, some leading to major adjustments of the results.

Like thermoluminescence, ESR is a 'trapped charge' dating method, but it is applied to different kinds of samples, and the method of measurement is also different.

While some geologists concentrated on the age of the Earth, others studied distinctive surface traces left behind by changes in the extent of polar ice during the most recent (Quaternary) geological period.

They identified a succession of Ice Ages alternating with temperate conditions (glacials and interglacials) which - if they could be dated - would reveal much about the evolution of early humans in the context of changing environmental conditions.

In practice the most useful samples come from zircon or obsidian, which was used extensively for making tools.

The physical phenomenon of luminescence may be used to date artefacts that were made from (or include) crystalline minerals which have been subjected to strong heating.

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