To put that age in perspective, the Earth itself formed 4.5 billion years ago as a ball of molten rock, meaning that its crust formed relatively soon thereafter, 100 million years later.
The age of the crystal also means that the crust appeared just 160 million years after the very formation of the solar system.
It is generally believed that Neolithic people found that by chewing this stuff if they had gum infections it helped to treat the condition," said Trevor Brown from the University of Derby.
(Source) "It is astonishing how much this shoe resembles a modern shoe! Stuffed with grass, perhaps as an insulator or an early shoe tree, the 5,500-year-old moccasin-like shoe was found exceptionally well preserved—thanks to a surfeit of sheep dung—during a 2010 dig in an Armenian cave. S.), the shoe was likely tailor-made for the right foot of its owner. C., during Armenia's Copper Age, the prehistoric shoe is compressed in the heel and toe area, likely due to miles upon miles of walking. (Source) In 2012, researchers identified what they say are the oldest-known musical instruments in the world.
Scientists using two different age-determining techniques have shown that a tiny zircon crystal found on a sheep ranch in western Australia dates back to 4.4 billion years ago."This is the oldest reliably dated piece of the Earth that we have, that anyone knows of," John Valley told CBS News.
Valley, a University of Wisconsin geoscience professor, led the research team.
Valley added that these findings suggest that the early Earth was not as harsh a place as many scientists have thought.
He said the confirmed dating "verified and strengthened" the theory that the Earth "actually had liquid water" by 4.3 billion years ago and was perhaps capable of sustaining microbial life. But there is no reason why life could not have existed on Earth 4.3 billion years ago," he added.
Carbon dating can only be used to date organic material, or material from once living beings, and is only effective (to a point) up to about 40,000 years.Greenland's ice cores can date much of the Earth's history further back than that.The method normally used for dating rocks and older objects is uranium dating - measuring the amount of uranium that has degraded into lead.They used pottery and other materials in sites to date 'relatively'.They thought that sites which had the same kinds of pots and tools would be the same age.Feel free to post corrections or additions by signing in or using the feedback form above. In 2008, nearly two pounds of still-green plant material were found in a 2,700-year-old grave in Mongolia's Gobi Desert.Rasmus Nyerup's quote reminds us of the tremendous scientific advances which have taken place in the 20th century.In Nyerup's time, archaeologists could date the past only by using recorded histories, which in Europe were based mainly on the Egyptian calendar.It was identified as the world's oldest marijuana stash.A barrage of tests proves that the marijuana possessed potent psychoactive properties and casts doubt on the theory that the ancients only grew the plant for hemp in order to make clothing, rope, and other objects. Lead author Ethan Russo told Discovery News that the marijuana "is quite similar" to what's grown today.