What is relative dating in anthropology

The Permian through Jurassic stratigraphy of the Colorado Plateau area of southeastern Utah is a great example of Original Horizontality and the Law of Superposition, two important ideas used in relative dating.These strata make up much of the famous prominent rock formations in widely spaced protected areas such as Capitol Reef National Park and Canyonlands National Park.Geologists still use the following principles today as a means to provide information about geologic history and the timing of geologic events.

The regular order of the occurrence of fossils in rock layers was discovered around 1800 by William Smith.Sixteen years after his discovery, he published a geological map of England showing the rocks of different geologic time eras.Methods for relative dating were developed when geology first emerged as a natural science in the 18th century.From top to bottom: Rounded tan domes of the Navajo Sandstone, layered red Kayenta Formation, cliff-forming, vertically jointed, red Wingate Sandstone, slope-forming, purplish Chinle Formation, layered, lighter-red Moenkopi Formation, and white, layered Cutler Formation sandstone.Photo from Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Utah.

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