The Quaternary period

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The Quaternary period of history is the most recent of epoch, but it spans ages. Many identify this period with the Ice Age, and the Quaternary is certainly a period that saw the blanketing of the earth with sheets of ice. However, it was not one of complete glaciation, as the period is marked with fluctuations in climate types.


In order to accurately gauge the occurrences of the past in preparation for the future, it is necessary to establish a system or a scale of timing of these occurrences. In addition to knowledge of all the operations of the earth, having in mind a specific (or even general) idea of the time that it takes for events to occur gives historians, scientists, and even the man in the street an idea not only of the future impact of actions done today, but also when to expect those effects to materialize. Because of this, many scientists have worked hard at developing different techniques to date the past. Techniques have developed over the years, from those that rely on myth to ones that rely on scientific evidence. The general trend of these techniques as the were developed was to posit an older and older earth. The time for the beginning of the earth was at first "estimated" at about 4 ka BP (Walker, p. 2); now there's evidence of its beginning approximately 15 ba BP (Greene, 2003, p. 347). ...
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