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Figure 3(b) Closer view of the quarry face of the south wall showing the oxidized limestone of the top of the Marlstone Rock Bed which is quarried as ‘Hornton Brown’ building stone. During two visits to the Hornton Quarries, it was established that fossil wood occurs alongside ammonite and belemnite index fossils (see aside below) in the ‘Hornton Stone’, the oxidized silty top of the Marlstone Rock Bed.The ammonite recovered in the quarries is Many such belemnite fossils had been found during quarrying operations (Figure 6).Radiocarbon dating uses isotopes of the element carbon. Cosmic rays – high energy particles from beyond the solar system – bombard Earth’s upper atmosphere continually, in the process creating the unstable carbon-14. Because it’s unstable, carbon-14 will eventually decay back to carbon-12 isotopes.

Since the ice forms from the incremental buildup of annual layers of snow, lower layers are older than upper, and an ice core contains ice formed over a range of a technique used by scientists to learn the ages of biological specimens – for example, wooden archaeological artifacts or ancient human remains – from the distant past.It can be used on objects as old as about 62,000 years.Together these index fossils have, in evolutionary reckoning, established the rock containing them as being Early Jurassic and about 189 million years old. Three samples of fossil wood were collected from the south wall of Hornton Quarries, one from immediately adjacent to the belemnite fossil (Figure 5) during the first visit, and two from locations nearby during the second visit.All the fossil wood samples were from short broken lengths of what were probably branches of trees fossilised .

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