Pottery Analysis - Typological Analysis And Other Dating Techniques
Typological analysis and other dating techniques
Typological analysis is the systematic classification of material culture into types based on similarities in form, construction, style, content, and/or use. Before the advent of modern dating techniques, typological analysis provided the chief basis for dating material objects. The underlying premise of the technique is that, in a given region, artifacts that resemble each other were created at about the same time, and that differences can be accounted for by gradual changes in the material culture.
Ceramic objects have thus been dated relative to each other based on typological or stylistic shifts in a material culture through time (seriation). One of the earliest seriation techniques used an indexing scheme to measure the similarity between artifacts. Today, computer-based statistical methods, including multidimensional analysis, factor analysis, and cluster analysis, are commonly used to date objects based on stylistic similarities.
In luminescence dating, a ceramic object is heated to produce a thermoluminescence signal characteristic of the length of time the objects have been buried. This technique is based on the principle that objects that have been buried a long time show greater luminescence intensities than those buried a short time.
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