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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.

[ While this may be true, a shrub in Tasmania could be 40,000 years old.

See Oldest Living Organism.] The Sheffield Laboratory now has a continuous master sequence for England going back to about 5000BC. This article should be a "must read" for any person interested in factualy accurate information on dating methods.

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.

Using these key or index fossils as markers, Smith could identify a particular layer of rock wherever it was exposed.

Because fossils actually record the slow but progressive development of life, scientists use them to identify rocks of the same age throughout the world.

Overview of Methods Superposition Stratigraphy Dendrochronology Radiocarbon C14 Radiometric Dating Methods Obsidian Hydration Dating Paleomagnetic/Archaeomagnetic Luminescence Dating Methods Amino Acid Racemization Fission-track Dating Ice Cores Varves Pollens Corals Cation Ratio Fluorine Dating Patination Oxidizable Carbon Ratio Electron Spin Resonance Cosmic-ray Exposure Dating This is an excellent overview of dating methodologies, and is a chapter in a textbook on Archaeology.

You may find it useful for the clear definitions, and for excellent links on a variety of topic.

Because of the distortions and lies spread by fundamentalists about scientific dating there is a need for a centralized source of information on the topic.

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