This slide shows a cross section of the esophagus, the first portion of the digestive tract that leads to the stomach. Note that the organ is lined with a many layers of cells referred to collectively as stratified squamous epithelium. By convention, stratified epithelial tissues are named by the shape of their outermost cells. Thus, although the deeper and basal layers
are composed of cuboidal and sometimes even columnar cells, those cells at the surface are squamous (flat) in shape, giving the tissue its name.