Typology and seriation dating

An example of morphological/descriptive typology consists of when an archaeologist excavates a site and finds dozens upon dozens of Native American arrowheads.The archaeologist narrows down their classification by organizing the pieces into morphological/descriptive groups.These techniques provide a qualitative way to articulate the degrees of consistency among particular attributes.Correlation coefficients created by these methods help archaeologists discern between meaningful and useless similarities between artefacts.In this particular example, the arrowheads are classified by their shape.The categories consist of: notched, stemmed, lanceolate, and other projectile points.In archaeology a typology is the result of the classification of things according to their physical characteristics. A typology helps to manage a large mass of archaeological data. Most archaeological typologies organize portable artifacts into types, but typologies of larger structures, including buildings, field monuments, fortifications or roads, are equally possible.

Although the principles were not clearly articulated, the application of basic typological techniques can occasionally be found in the work of early modern antiquaries.

So, the projectile points could be sorted by weight, height, color, material, or however the archaeologists prefers.

One of the first national typology bases available on the web, The Projectile Points Typology Database , exhibits how the arrowhead artifacts found are classified among the fifty states by region, state, or nationwide.

Each category may also be narrowed down into subsequent ones.

This type consists of sequential ordering of archaeological artifacts merely based on form.

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