If a rock has been partially melted, or otherwise metamorphosed, that causes complications for radiometric (absolute) age dating as well. You probably have seen or read news stories about fascinating ancient artifacts.At an archaeological dig, a piece of wooden tool is unearthed and the archaeologist finds it to be 5,000 years old.What methods do they use and how do these methods work?In this article, we will examine the methods by which scientists use radioactivity to determine the age of objects, most notably carbon-14 dating.That’s because zircon is super tough – it resists weathering. Each radioactive isotope works best for particular applications.The half-life of carbon 14, for example, is 5,730 years.Pretty obvious that the dike came after the rocks it cuts through, right?With absolute age dating, you get a real age in actual years.Unlike people, you can’t really guess the age of a rock from looking at it.Yet, you’ve heard the news: Earth is 4.6 billion years old. That corn cob found in an ancient Native American fire pit is 1,000 years old. Geologic age dating—assigning an age to materials—is an entire discipline of its own.