Other examples of non vertical superposition would be modifications to standing structures such as the creation of new doors and windows in a wall.Superposition in archaeology requires a degree of interpretation to correctly identify chronological sequences and in this sense superposition in archaeology is more dynamic and multi-dimensional. Students not only want to know how old a fossil is, but they want to know how that age was determined.

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Students should be able to understand the principles and have that as a background so that age determinations by paleontologists and geologists don't seem like black magic. Geologists in the late 18th and early 19th century studied rock layers and the fossils in them to determine relative age.

William Smith was one of the most important scientists from this time who helped to develop knowledge of the succession of different fossils by studying their distribution through the sequence of sedimentary rocks in southern England.

It wasn't until well into the 20th century that enough information had accumulated about the rate of radioactive decay that the age of rocks and fossils in number of years could be determined through radiometric age dating.

The law of superposition is an axiom that forms one of the bases of the sciences of geology, archaeology, and other fields dealing with geological stratigraphy.

In its plainest form, it states that in undeformed stratigraphic sequences, the oldest strata will be at the bottom of the sequence.

This is important to stratigraphic dating, which assumes that the law of superposition holds true and that an object cannot be older than the materials of which it is composed.

The law was first proposed in the 17th century by the Danish scientist Nicolas Steno.

Superposition in archaeology and especially in stratification use during excavation is slightly different as the processes involved in laying down archaeological strata are somewhat different from geological processes.

Man made intrusions and activity in the archaeological record need not form chronologically from top to bottom or be deformed from the horizontal as natural strata are by equivalent processes.