Archaeological dating important
Limits to relative dating are that it cannot provide an accurate year or a specific date of use.The style of the artefact and its archaeology location stratigraphically are required to arrive at a relative date.Stratigraphic excavation is the recording and study of these different strata as they are removed from the area.The shape and style of an artefact changes through time although its function may remain the same.For example, if an artefact, say an oil lamp, is found co-located on the same floor of a governor's dwelling, and that floor can be dated in archaeology terms by reason of the patterns employed in the mosaic, then it is assumed that in relation to the floor that the lamp is of the same age.The underlying principle of stratigraphic analysis in archaeology is that of superposition.But now archaeologists studying, say, the development of agriculture across the continents are able to determine how different societies stacked up against one another throughout the millennia.When museums and collectors purchase archaeological items for their collections they enter an expensive and potentially deceptive commercial fine arts arena.
Landslides and slips can completely change the topography of an entire archaeology site burying what was once on top by that which is much older, hence reversing the strata layers.
The changing styles of pottery, glass, stoneware, and metal objects provide archaeology analysts with known progressive sequences.
Once an artefact is compared to its known development date then whenever that item reappears in the archaeological record, of that or any other site, it can quickly be dated.
For example, it makes it possible to compare the ages of objects on a worldwide scale, allowing for indispensible comparisons across the globe.
Before this, it was anyone's guess how different digs' timelines compared to one another over great distances.
This term means that older artefacts are usually found below younger items.