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Take a closer look at William 'Strata' Smith's ground-breaking 1815 geological map of England and Wales, compare this to modern maps, and discover more about his life and work.
William Smith made the connection between fossils and the layer of rocks they were in, and used this to create the first geological map of England and Wales. He became known as the 'Father of Stratigraphy' and 'Father of English Geology'.
Smith revolutionised the study of geological time and the order of the succession of life. His work inspired nations to map the geology of their countries, laying the founding principles for geological surveys worldwide.
Today, it is accepted that looking at fossils is the most accurate way of comparing sedimentary rocks and answering questions of geological time. In his practical, matter-of-fact way, William Smith had shown the way to read the history of the Earth.