Cross dating

The discovery of inscribed monuments and calendars associated with dated astronomical observations contributed to the development of an Egyptian chronology and it has served as a framework -- through CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: The use of various methods, often multiple methods, to demonstrate the equivalency of stratigraphic units.

This term refers to the relation of one stratigraphical unit to another, by petrological, osteological, lithographic, cultural, chronological, or palaeontological means.

Objects are said to be in association with each other when they are found together in a context which suggests simultaneous deposition.

Associations between objects are the basis for as well as in interpretation -- cultural connections, original function, etc.

The term cross-dating ought strictly to be used only when an object of culture A is also found in proved association with culture B, when overlap of at least part of the time span of each is proved.

Items having an established date, such as dated coins or buildings, or ceramics of known manufacture are most often used.

Though he was unable to decipher the Minoans' three written scripts, his detailed study of them gave the necessary basis for later work, culminating in the reading of in 1952.The assumption is that a particular type of artifact, for example a type of sword, when found in an undated context will bear a similar date to one found in a dated context, thus enabling the whole of the undated context to be given a chronological value.The method is based on the assumption that typologies evolved at the same rate and in the same way over a wide area or alternatively on assumptions of diffusion.Many of the chronologies constructed before the advent of showed some of the links established by cross-dating to be invalid, so the method has become somewhat discredited.However, its use is still helpful where recognizable products of dateable manufacture are found in undated contexts with no possibility of using a technique.Pottery and flint tools associated in a closed context would be grounds for linking them into an assemblage, possibly making the full of a group available.

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