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Lecture 13

Lecture 13 Part 2 – Developing Chronologies and Relative Dating

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Western University
Anthropology 2229F/G
Christopher Ellis

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)
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