They then use that absolute date to establish a relative age for fossils and artifacts in relation to that layer. Anything below the Taupo tephra is earlier than 232; anything above it is later.
(Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities via AP) The discovery was made in the Nile Valley province of Minya south of Cairo, in an area known as al-Kamin al-Sahrawi.
Tuesday's statement by the ministry says the unearthed sarcophagi and clay fragments suggest that the area was a large necropolis from sometime between the 27th Dynasty and the Greco-Roman period.
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A submethod within biostratigraphy is faunal association: Sometimes researchers can determine a rough age for a fossil based on established ages of other fauna from the same layer — especially microfauna, which evolve faster, creating shorter spans in the fossil record for each species.