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By carefully digging, we have found that each trash pit shows a sequence of layers.

Although the types of trash in each pit is quite variable, each layer has a distinctive kind of trash that distinguishes it from other layers in the pits.

The secondary rocks were thought to include interlayered basalts, which Werner thought formed by combustion of buried coal layers.

Once Steno recognized that the fossils he was contemplating (sharks teeth and sea shells) were formed in the sediments of oceans he was able to work out the basic rules of stratigraphy.

A chance encounter between determined fishermen and a great white shark off the Tuscan coast in 1666 sparked a chain of events that would help change humans views of fossils and Earth’s geologic past (Cutler 2003, pp. Nicolas Steno (1638-1686) dissected the head of this shark and realized fossil tongue stones believed to be petrified snake or dragon tongues were actually fossil shark teeth (Prothero 1998, p. One problem still existed, how do fossils become embedded in solid rock?

Steno recognized that fossils represent organisms that became buried in sediment, which later turned into rock.

Principles of Stratigraphy Stratigraphy is the study of strata (sedimentary layers) in the Earth's crust.

Geologist in the 1800s worked out 7 basic principles of stratigraphy that allowed them, and now us, to work out the relative ages of rocks.

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