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That's why geologic time is usually diagramed in tall columnar diagrams like this.This all has to do with describing how long ago something happened. There are several ways we figure out relative ages.The simplest is the law of superposition: if thing A is deposited on top of (or cuts across, or obliterates) thing B, then thing B must have been there already when thing A happened, so thing B is older than thing A.Paleontologists have examined layered sequences of fossil-bearing rocks all over the world, and noted where in those sequences certain fossils appear and disappear.
When you find the same fossils in rocks far away, you know that the sediments those rocks must have been laid down at the same time.
Unfortunately, those methods don't work on all rocks, and they don't work at all if you don't have rocks in the laboratory to age-date. They are descriptions of how one rock or event is older or younger than another.
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