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The layers of rock at the base of the canyon were deposited first, and are thus older than the layers of rock exposed at the top (principle of superposition).In the Grand Canyon, the layers of strata are nearly horizontal.Despite seeming like a relatively stable place, the Earth's surface has changed dramatically over the past 4.6 billion years.Mountains have been built and eroded, continents and oceans have moved great distances, and the Earth has fluctuated from being extremely cold and almost completely covered with ice to being very warm and ice-free.Third, magnetism in rocks can be used to estimate the age of a fossil site.
According to the principle of original horizontality, these strata must have been deposited horizontally and then titled vertically after they were deposited.
Layers of rock are deposited horizontally at the bottom of a lake (principle of original horizontality).
Younger layers are deposited on top of older layers (principle of superposition).
A fossil can be studied to determine what kind of organism it represents, how the organism lived, and how it was preserved.
However, by itself a fossil has little meaning unless it is placed within some context.