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Define seriation dating

Of all the music recording artifacts in our sample from Junkyard E, 10% are related to 45 rpm technology; 20% to 8-tracks; 60% are related to cassette tapes and 10% are CD-Rom parts.

The figure on this page is a Microsoft Excel (TM) table showing the results of our frequency count.

For a study we're doing on, say, the availability of music in rural locations during the 20th century, we'd like to know more about the deposits in these illicit junkyards.

Using seriation at our hypothetical junkyard sites, we will try to establish the chronology--the order in which the junkyards were used and closed.

At this step, the dissimilarity between items 4 and 5 is the currently smallest dissimilarity.

Archaeologists call this kind of behavior "curation" -- people then, just like today, like to hang on to old things.Pottery is also abundant in ancient Pueblo sites, and its occurrence in many tree-ring-dated contexts has allowed archaeologists to determine fairly precisely when different styles were made.Because the date ranges for various ancient pottery types are so firmly established, archaeologists can use the mere presence of a particular type of pottery to determine the general time period of occupation of a site, even in the absence of other dating evidence.A good example of a change in artifact type is the development of hand-held PDAs from those first enormous cell phones. As an example of how change through time works, consider the different music recording methods that were used in the 20th century.One early recording method consisted of large plastic disks which could only be played on a huge device called a gramophone.There might be a small number of them (or fragments of them) in the junkyard which stopped taking junk during the first years 78s were invented.You would expect a large number in one closed when 78s were popular and a small number again after 78s were replaced by a different technology.We take our samples back to the laboratory, and count the kinds of artifacts in them, and discover that each of the junkyards have broken pieces of musical recording methods in them--old broken records, pieces of stereo equipment, 8-track cassette tapes.We count the types of musical recording methods found in each of our junkyard samples, and then work out the percentages.Petrie's notions about Egyptology, and archaeology in general, were revolutionary.His worrying about where a pot came from and what period it dated to and what that meant to the other objects buried with it were light-years away from the ideas represented in this photo dated to 1800, in which "Egyptian pots" was considered enough information for the thinking man.


  1. In archaeology, seriation is a relative dating method in which assemblages or artifacts from. The archaeological sequence or sequence for short, on a specific archaeological site can be defined on two levels of rigour. Normally it is adequate.

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