Results for law of superposition:
- law of superposition
- CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: The principle that states that in any pile of sedimentary rocks that have not been disturbed by folding or overturning, the strata on the bottom will have been deposited first. This is the principle that the sequence of observable strata, from bottom to top, reflects the order of deposition, from earliest to latest. Older beds or strata are overlain and buried by progressively younger beds or strata.
- relative chronology
- SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: stratigraphy
CATEGORY: technique; chronology
DEFINITION: A time scale developed by the law of superposition or artifact ordering. It is the establishment of a chronology in which occurrences can be placed in the correct sequence relative to each other or to some known succession of events. Stratigraphy is the study of the relative chronology of the Earth's strata.
- CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: The study and interpretation of the stratification of rocks, sediments, soils, or cultural debris, based on the principle that the lowest layer is the oldest and the uppermost in the youngest -- a major tool in establishing a relative dating sequence. The sequence of deposition can be assessed by a study of the relationships of different layers. Dateable artifacts found within layers, and layers or structures which are themselves dateable, can be used to date parts of stratigraphic sequences. An archaeologist has to master the skill to recognize it -- to distinguish one deposit from another by its color, texture, smell, or contents; to understand it -- to explain how each layer came to be added, whether by natural accumulation, deliberate fill, or collapse of higher-standing buildings; and to record it in measured drawings of the section. There can be problems where a feature filled with one type of material cuts into layers of the same material. Unless the later feature is recognized, objects of two different phases may appear to be stratified together. The underlying principles are: law of superposition, law of cross-cutting relationships, included fragments, and correlation by fossil inclusions. The stratigraphy principle was adopted from geology and is the basis of reconstructing the history of an archaeological site.
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