Relative dating is the science of determining the relative order of past events (i.e., the age of an object in comparison to another), without necessarily determining their absolute age, (i.e. In geology, rock or superficial deposits, fossils and lithologies can be used to correlate one stratigraphic column with another.
In geology, when an igneous intrusion cuts across a formation of sedimentary rock, it can be determined that the igneous intrusion is younger than the sedimentary rock.
Sixteen years after his discovery, he published a geological map of England showing the rocks of different geologic time eras.
Methods for relative dating were developed when geology first emerged as a natural science in the 18th century.
The Law of Superposition, which states that older layers will be deeper in a site than more recent layers, was the summary outcome of 'relative dating' as observed in geology from the 17th century to the early 20th century.
The regular order of occurrence of fossils in rock layers was discovered around 1800 by William Smith.