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Any formations and fossils found within the middle layer are then, in theory, is younger than the layer below and older than the layer above.Biostratigraphy takes this one step further, analysing the fossils found within each layer.

It’s found throughout the food chain – it’s taken up by plants for photosynthesis, then eaten by herbivores which are, in turn, eaten by carnivores – so is usually used to date samples which were once alive, from woolly mammoths to Egyptian mummies.If you want to know the precise age of something, absolute dating techniques are the only option.They work by analysing the activity of elements and their decay over time.Stratigraphy relies on the fact that below you are multitudes of geological layers, each made from different rock types that tell a detailed story of the history of the region.If the age of the layers above and below a rock layer are known, it’s possible to “relatively” date the rock.