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Relative dating includes different techniques, but the most commonly used are soil stratigraphy analysis and typology.
The rejection of the validity of fossils and of dating by religious fundamentalists creates a problem for them: Fossil sequences were recognized and established in their broad outlines long before Charles Darwin had even thought of evolution.
With its focus on the ancient past, archaeology somewhat resembles paleontologythe study of fossils of long-extinct animals, such as dinosaurs.
However, archaeology is distinct from paleontology and studies only past human life.
These remains include the fossils (preserved bones) of humans, food remains, the ruins of buildings, and human artifactsitems such as tools, pottery, and jewelry.
From their studies, archaeologists attempt to reconstruct past ways of life.
Strata are differentiated from each other by their different colors or compositions and are exposed in cliffs, quarries, and river banks.