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In other words, artifacts found in the upper layers of a site will have been deposited more recently than those found in the lower layers.
Cross-dating of sites, comparing geologic strata at one site with another location and extrapolating the relative ages in that manner, is still an important dating strategy used today, primarily when sites are far too old for absolute dates to have much meaning.
For example, the results of dendrochronology (tree-ring) analysis may tell us that a particular roof beam was from a tree chopped down in A. For example, the stratum, or layer, in which an artifact is found in an ancient structure may make it clear that the artifact was deposited sometime after people stopped living in the structure but before the roof collapsed.
However, the stratigraphic position alone cannot tell us the exact date.
Seriation, on the other hand, was a stroke of genius.He ventilation ages are well correlated over a wide range of water masses with an independent tracer age estimate from a contemporaneous chlorolluorocarbon CFC-12 data set, with residuals only slightly greater than those expected from sampling error alone.The tritium -He ages are slightly younger (∼ 1 year) than the CFC-12 ages in recently ventilated water, and the disparity between the two tracer ages increases sharply for ages approaching the elapsed period since the bomb-tritium input in the early 1960s.Seriation is thought to be the first application of statistics in archaeology. The most famous seriation study was probably Deetz and Dethlefsen's study Death's Head, Cherub, Urn and Willow, on changing styles on gravestones in New England cemeteries.The method is still a standard for cemetery studies.
First used, and likely invented by archaeologist Sir William Flinders-Petrie in 1899, seriation (or sequence dating) is based on the idea that artifacts change over time.