Middle Awash geological work is aimed at providing geochronological and stratigraphic frameworks for archaeological and paleontological discoveries, and at understanding the geological (tectonic, volcanic, geomorphological) history of the Afar.  Geological research involves field geology and structural, geomorphological, sedimentological, volcanological, paleomagnetic, tephrochemical, isotopic, and radiometric dating studies directed at precise temporal placement of the fossils and other antiquities.  To date, more than 1,200 rock samples have been collected for analysis by project geologists.  To visit the dating facility that has done the most research on these Middle Awash rock samples, go to Berkeley Geochronology Center.