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What is archaeological cultural dating

Clark Wissler, an anthropologist researching Native American groups in the Southwest, recognized the potential for such dating, and brought Douglass subfossil wood from puebloan ruins.Unfortunately, the wood from the pueblos did not fit into Douglass's record, and over the next 12 years, they searched in vain for a connecting ring pattern, building a second prehistoric sequence of 585 years.Stratigraphy is the oldest of the relative dating methods that archaeologists use to date things.

Two broad categories of dating or chronometric techniques that archaeologists use are called relative and absolute dating.In 1901, Douglass began investigating tree ring growth as an indicator of solar cycles.Douglass believed that solar flares affected climate, and hence the amount of growth a tree might gain in a given year.The scholar most associated with the rules of stratigraphy (or law of superposition) is probably the geologist Charles Lyell.The basis for stratigraphy seems quite intuitive today, but its applications were no less than earth-shattering to archaeological theory.Seriation is thought to be the first application of statistics in archaeology. The most famous seriation study was probably Deetz and Dethlefsen's study Death's Head, Cherub, Urn and Willow, on changing styles on gravestones in New England cemeteries.The method is still a standard for cemetery studies.For example, JJA Worsaae used this law to prove the Three Age System.Seriation, on the other hand, was a stroke of genius.Plotting several curves can allow the archaeologist to develop a relative chronology for an entire site or group of sites.For detailed information about how seriation works, see Seriation: A Step by Step Description.

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