Define seriation dating
Archaeologists use many different techniques to determine the age of a particular artifact, site, or part of a site.Two broad categories of dating or chronometric techniques that archaeologists use are called relative and absolute dating.
This is admitted because of the simple reason that some botanical species, whether extinct or not, are well known as belonging to a determined position in the scale of time.As an example Pinnacle Point's caves, in the southern coast of South Africa, provided evidence that marine resources (shellfish) have been regularly exploited by humans as of 170,000 years ago.On the other hand, remains as recent as a hundred years old can also be the target of archaeological dating methods.The basic premise is to arrange in sequence objects of material culture (anything from microliths to monumental architecture) based on degree of similarity.Variation is assumed to be the result of spatiotemporal dimensions: greater similarity implies proximity either in space or time.Dating material drawn from the archaeological record can be made by a direct study of an artifact, or may be deduced by association with materials found in the context the item is drawn from or inferred by its point of discovery in the sequence relative to datable contexts.
Dating is carried out mainly post excavation, but to support good practice, some preliminary dating work called "spot dating" is usually run in tandem with excavation.
Seriation is one of the fundamental techniques used in archaeology.
The criticisms of the last few decades do not invalidate its usefulness, if used with due critical judgement.
Several dating methods exist, depending on different criteria and techniques, and some very well known examples of disciplines using such techniques are, for example, history, archaeology, geology, paleontology, astronomy and even forensic science, since in the latter it is sometimes necessary to investigate the moment in the past in which the death of a cadaver occurred.
Relative dating methods are unable to determine the absolute age of an object or event, but can determine the impossibility of a particular event happening before or after another event of which the absolute date is well known.
The stratigraphy of an archaeological site can be used to date, or refine the date, of particular activities ("contexts") on that site.