Dating pottery archaeology

Based on a discipline of geology called stratigraphy, rock layers are used to decipher the sequence of historical geological events.

Relative techniques can determine the sequence of events but not the precise date of an event, making these methods unreliable.

At the start of the archaeological process, we can begin to characterise and date pottery in the field in order to inform on-site excavation strategies.

During the initial stages of post-excavation work, we provide detailed information on a context-by-context basis and liaise closely with field archaeologists to facilitate the process of site phasing and interpretation.

For example, if the cultural contents of the lower deposit are Mauryan in character, appropriately this deposit may be assigned a date between 400-200 B. Similarly, if the cultural equipment of the upper deposit are of the Sunga period, this deposit has to placed between 200-73 B. Quite often, the archaeologist decided the change of stratum on the basis of the feed of the deposit.The half-life of C is approximately 5730 years, which is too short for this method to be used to date material millions of years old.The isotope of Potassium-40, which has a half-life of 1.25 Billion years, can be used for such long measurements.b) Absolute These methods are based on calculating the date of artefacts in a more precise way using different attributes of materials.This method includes carbon dating and thermoluminescence.The analysis of pottery assemblages can shed light on many aspects of past activity.By classifying vessel fabric, form and decoration, we can not only establish the date and provenance of the pottery but also start to address a diverse range of research questions concerning topics like site function, depositional practice, trade and exchange, production technology, social hierarchy and cultural identity.Archaeology South-East can provide the assessment and analysis of pottery assemblages from the Neolithic to the post-medieval period.With extensive experience of working on assemblages from southern and eastern Britain, Archaeology South-East’s specialists have undertaken work for a wide range of external clients including Museum of London Archaeology, Pre-construct Archaeology, AOC Archaeology and Northamptonshire Archaeology and SLR Consulting.Today, many different radioactive elements have been used, but the most famous absolute dating method is radiocarbon dating, which uses the isotope C.This isotope, which can be found in organic materials and can be used only to date organic materials, has been incorrectly used by many to make dating assumptions for non-organic material such as stone buildings.

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