Obsidian hydration dating is based on the fact that

Many of these links also appear where appropriate below.James Hutton and William Smith advanced the concept of geologic time and strengthened the belief in an ancient world.Keyed to the relative time scale are examples of index fossils, the forms of life which existed during limited periods of geologic time and thus are used as guides to the age of the rocks in which they are preserved.William "Strata" Smith, a civil engineer and surveyor, was well acquainted with areas in southern England where "limestone and shales are layered like slices of bread and butter." His hobby of collecting and cataloging fossil shells from these rocks led to the discovery that certain layers contained fossils unlike those in other layers.

Examples of a number of consistent dates derived from different methods are given.

Further, he proposed that wherever uncontorted layers were exposed, the bottom layer was deposited first and was, therefore, the oldest layer exposed; each succeeding layer, up to the topmost one, was progressively younger.

The Major Divisions of Geologic Time are shown here, arranged in chronological order with the oldest division at the bottom, the youngest at the top. Specifically, stratigraphy refers to the application of the Law of Superposition to soil and geological strata containing archaeological materials in order to determine the relative ages of layers.

It excludes contamination and weathering of travertines and makes possible more precise dating of thin deposits of secondary carbonates.

No web-based resource for this method is available.

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