To review our principles of relative dating as applied to such geologic cross-sections, we will make use of a neat learning tool available on the Internet.
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The sequence dating method allowed the relative date, if not the absolute date, of any given Predynastic Egypt site to be ascertained by examining the handles on pottery, general form of the piece, and the stratigraphic layer it was found in. The assumption was that certain styles of pottery were popular in certain times, and during that time, the popularity would reach a peak and then fade away.
As more evidence of the predynastic period is uncovered, this dating method in relation to the pottery on site aids in determining the relative date of the site. So, if a similar style of pottery was found at a different site, they must be from around the same time period.
The age of the fossil must be determined so it can be compared to other fossil species from the same time period.
Understanding the ages of related fossil species helps scientists piece together the evolutionary history of a group of organisms.
Free 5-day trial Discover how geologists study the layers in sedimentary rock to establish relative age.
Learn how inclusions and unconformities can tell us stories about the geologic past.
Applying the principles of relative dating to these rock exposures (also called "outcrops"), we can reconstruct the sequence of events that created the geologic features which we see.
Events can be the deposition of a sedimentary layer, the eruption of a lava flow, the intrusion of magma to form a batholith, a fault (break) in the rock that shifts one side relative to the other side (and causes an earthquake), a fold that bends and distorts rock layers, or any number of other geologic processes.
Click Question 1: What is the sequence of events that can be inferred from the above cross-section?