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Dendrochronology: Also known as tree-ring dating, the science concerned with determining the age of trees by examining their growth rings.
This method is based on the assumption (which nearly always holds true) that deeper layers of rock were deposited earlier in Earth's history, and thus are older than more shallow layers.
The successive layers of rock represent successive intervals of time.
Since certain species of animals existed on Earth at specific times in history, the fossils or remains of such animals embedded within those successive layers of rock also help scientists determine the age of the layers.
Similarly, pollen grains released by seed-bearing plants became fossilized in rock layers.
Eventually, the entire ecosystem (community of plants and animals) of the planet, including humans, is filled with a concentration of carbon-14.