Radiocarbon dating example problem
Contextual seriation is often used for reconstructing the chronological sequence of graves as only the presence or absence of a design style or type is important.
Frequency seriation is applied in case of large quantities of objects belonging to the same style.
In archaeology, seriation is a relative dating method in which assemblages or artifacts from numerous sites, in the same culture, are placed in chronological order.
Where absolute dating methods, such as carbon dating, cannot be applied, archaeologists have to use relative dating methods to date archaeological finds and features.
Initially 60 contexts (called units in Win Basp) were created along with 50 types.
For example, knives in early medieval times in Europe are said to show no chronological variation.
In addition to temporal organization, seriation results may reflect assemblage differences in social status, age, sex or those resulting from regional variation (or a combination of two or more of these factors). 343) presents a seriation result of Danish hoards based on artefact types like daggers, axes, and swords.
The result is not a chronological sequence due to the selection of types, the ordering seems to start with extremely male hoards and ends with extremely female ones. 269) Nowadays, seriation results are no longer produced manually as in Petrie's times but by appropriate algorithms.
The raw data are stored in an unsorted binary contingency table indicating which design style can be found in which context by a star symbol.
For example, consider the first column: context 3 contains the design styles blackrim, bottle, and handle. Contextual seriation sorts the design styles and the contexts in such a way that the star symbols are found as close as possible to the diagonal of the table.