Further, he proposed that wherever uncontorted layers were exposed, the bottom layer was deposited first and was, therefore, the oldest layer exposed; each succeeding layer, up to the topmost one, was progressively younger.The Major Divisions of Geologic Time are shown here, arranged in chronological order with the oldest division at the bottom, the youngest at the top. Specifically, stratigraphy refers to the application of the Law of Superposition to soil and geological strata containing archaeological materials in order to determine the relative ages of layers.
There, you will find a brief description of the method, plus links to take you to other webpages with more extensive information.
Overview of Methods Superposition Stratigraphy Dendrochronology Radiocarbon C14 Radiometric Dating Methods Obsidian Hydration Dating Paleomagnetic/Archaeomagnetic Luminescence Dating Methods Amino Acid Racemization Fission-track Dating Ice Cores Varves Pollens Corals Cation Ratio Fluorine Dating Patination Oxidizable Carbon Ratio Electron Spin Resonance Cosmic-ray Exposure Dating This is an excellent overview of dating methodologies, and is a chapter in a textbook on Archaeology.
You may find it useful for the clear definitions, and for excellent links on a variety of topic.
Many of these links also appear where appropriate below.
James Hutton and William Smith advanced the concept of geologic time and strengthened the belief in an ancient world.