In the 1950’s following Lucy’s discovery, she was estimated to be at least 500,000 years old.This number changed in the 1970’s to at least a million years old.
This find has been known as “Skull 5”, and has already caused a debate about how the homo species should be classified.
This finding will spawn a debate until a newer find is unearthed and new data is presented.
The level of carbon decay may have varied across different time periods in the past.
Some species may have had less exposure to sun, or climate change may have influenced the amount of carbon in the atmosphere.
Exposure from the sun on a piece of bone, for example, accumulates nitrogen in the bone fragment.
This nitrogen turns into carbon-14, which acts as a measuring guide for how old an object is.
Lucy, the Australopithecus specimen went through several date revisions since she was found.
Anthropologist Susan Martinez outlines the numerous times Lucy has been re-dated to fit with contemporary theories.
The techniques used to calculate the date of a fossil aren’t perfect and are subject to error.
A technique known as radiocarbon dating works by measuring how levels of carbon have dropped in a bone fragment or artifact over time.
The higher the fossil is in the surface of the Earth, the more likely it comes into contact with weather, animals and other agents.