Today, scientists understand that these same processes may not always have had the same relative importance or operated at precisely the same rate.
Moreover, some important geologic processes are not currently observable, but evidence that they occur is well established.
Based on this information, they will learn how to relatively date associated artifacts.
They will interpret their archaeological site by writing an explanation of when each stratum and artifact was deposited in their site.
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.
Using the absolute dating principles provided in Phase 1 of the lesson, students will make decisions of which artifacts to send to a lab for absolute dating.
We have learned that Earth is much older than anyone had previously imagined and that its surface and interior have been changed by the same geological processes that continue today.
In the mid-1600s, Archbishop James Ussher constructed a chronology or time line of both human and Earth history in which he determined that Earth was more than five thousand years old. In this work, Hutton put forth the fundamental principle of uniformitarianism, which simply states that the physical, chemical, and biological laws that operate today have also operated in the geologic past.
Though relative dating can only determine the sequential order in which a series of events occurred, not when they occurred, it remains a useful technique.
Relative dating by biostratigraphy is the preferred method in paleontology and is, in some respects, more accurate.