Anthropology 2229F/G Lecture Notes - Lecture 13: Flinders Petrie, Prehistoric Egypt

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Published on 18 Jul 2012
School
Western University
Department
Anthropology
Course
Anthropology 2229F/G
Lecture 13 Part 2 Developing Chronologies and Relative Dating
o Typological/Stylistic Dating
Developed by Christian Thomsen
Changes in forms of artifacts over time
Change in form occurs gradually over time, certain
characteristics added, deleted, etc.
More similar artifacts are, the closer they are in age and vice
versa
Can use major and discrete characteristics to differentiate
artifacts
Those that share characteristics of both are usually
intermediate in form between the other two types (e.g.
between early and late)
Have to have knowledge of the stratigraphy to place them in
time
o Contextual Seriation
Created by Flinders Petrie in the 1800s
To try and understand the age range of burials in pre-dynastic
Egypt
Mostly ceramic objects; types of pottery used for certain
periods of time, went out of style and was replaced with
something different/better
Periods can overlap; oldest and youngest are usually distinct
Still need to know relative age
Argued that objects get more complex over time; dangerous
assumption
Those closer together in time will share artifacts, those farther
apart will share fewer, if any
o Frequency Seriation
Dependant on the changing frequencies of objects through
time
Those closer together in time will have similar frequencies
than those farther apart in time
Only works with one functional form (e.g. bowls for serving)
Assumes you have a certain kind of artifacts that is introduced
increases in frequency over time, but eventually dies out;
replaces a style of object gradually over time
Human behaviour is faddish
Often plotted, referred to as battleship curves or
lozenge curves
Requires/Assumes…
1. Have to have to relative age of at least 2 of the
samples
2. Functionality needs to be identical/be functional
equivalents
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Document Summary

Lecture 13 part 2 developing chronologies and relative dating: typological/stylistic dating. Changes in forms of artifacts over time. Change in form occurs gradually over time, certain characteristics added, deleted, etc. More similar artifacts are, the closer they are in age and vice versa. Can use major and discrete characteristics to differentiate artifacts. Those that share characteristics of both are usually intermediate in form between the other two types (e. g. between early and late) Have to have knowledge of the stratigraphy to place them in time: contextual seriation. To try and understand the age range of burials in pre-dynastic. Mostly ceramic objects; types of pottery used for certain periods of time, went out of style and was replaced with something different/better. Periods can overlap; oldest and youngest are usually distinct. Argued that objects get more complex over time; dangerous assumption. Those closer together in time will share artifacts, those farther apart will share fewer, if any: frequency seriation.

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