However, in the 1940s, the organization of time was transformed by the revelation of radiometric dating and the subsequent creation of a scientific chronology of humankind, known as ‘absolute dating’.
That means that a freshly-dead dung beetle that falls into an Egyptian tomb dating from the reign of Cleopatra would have the same radiocarbon age as the scarab that was trapped in the tomb under the sarcophagus 20 centuries ago.
“Given current emissions trends, fossil fuel emission-driven artificial ‘ageing’ of the atmosphere is likely to occur much faster and with a larger magnitude than previously expected,” Dr Graven concludes.
The most well known and oft used form of radiometric dating is radiocarbon dating. It has helped define the ages of man in ways never thought possible and led the way for a vanguard of scientific techniques that have further defined time for humanity and beyond.
But what does it actually do and how much can it tell us?
This calendar, with the months January through December, is a business standard used in many places round the world to define the year: one which hearkens back to Christian and Roman Imperial precedents.