This optimistic hope, however, must be tempered by the realization that much of the Precambrian record—older than 541 million years—is missing.
In dating the past, the primary value of fossils lies within the principle of faunal succession: each interval of geologic history had a unique fauna that associates a given fossiliferous rock with that particular interval.index fossil should be such as to guarantee that its presence in two separated rocks indicates their synchroneity.
Smith’s geologic map was extremely crude, but in its effect on Earth study it was a milestone.
Following Smith’s pioneering work, generations of geologists have confirmed that similar and even more extensive fossil sequences exist elsewhere.
Thirty-three paired accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) radiocarbon dates on human and terrestrial faunal remains from the same Neolithic and Early Bronze Age graves are used to develop a correction for the freshwater reservoir effect (FRE) at Lake Baikal, Siberia.
Excluding two outliers, stable nitrogen isotope (δC yr between paired human and fauna determinations.