Any human skeletal discovery in the 1920s would have been dated on the basis of stratigraphy, as Rob said. Radiocarbon dating has shown that in a number of cases this led to false estimates of age when skeletons were not found by archaeologists and therefore evidence of a grave cut was not noticed.
The earliest scientific dating method would have been fluorine dating, undertaken by Oakley in 1949 on 'Piltdown Man' and other claimed early humans of which he was suspicious. As far as I know, fluorine dating was not used on human skeletal material earlier than this,
From: British archaeology discussion list on behalf of valerie williamson
Sent: Fri 15/09/2006 18:00
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [BRITARCH] A question
I have a question about archaeology and was advised to join Britarch.
Please could someone tell me what sorts of dating techniques were used in the 1920s for human remains? I know that carbon dating wasn't used until the 1950s...
I would be very grateful for an answer. Many thanks!