The Importance Of Context In Archaeology

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Paper 1 The archaeological record, in its simplest form, is the traces of the human past. It is the physical evidence of history that allows archaeologists to document and interpret human culture. There are many aspects that are involved with the archaeological record that are important when analyzing the field. Of the most important include: artifacts, structures, ecofacts, features, archaeological sites, preservation, excavation, chronology, and context. Every aspect of the archaeological record is involved in the other and all are crucial to the archaeologist in their process; utilizing material culture to learn and share knowledge over human history. Artifacts are perhaps the most essential and common aspect of the archaeological record.…show more content…
Context is vital to an archaeologist in determining the function and significance of artifacts at a site. Context is destroyed when people loot and destroy materials from a site. Each item found at an archaeological site has a relationship in space and time to all the other materials. Through context, we know that items may be found younger, later, or contemporaneous. Chronology is any method used to order time and to place events in the sequence in which they occurred. Relative chronology is the principle of superposition and the concept that lower items in the ground are…show more content…
Absolute/chronometric dating is the system of dating in years through historical record. Thomsen’s Dating is an aging or dating system created by an archaeologist of the last name Thomsen. Thomsen’s dating was important to archeology in dating artifacts of prehistory for context and displaying the artifacts once they had been discovered. The three ages included in Thomsen’s Dating are the Stone Age, Bronze Age, and the Iron Age. Dendrochronology is a system of tree ring dating that measures tree rings and dates them to a specific date in time. Dendrochronology compares tree rings in a region to find similar patterns, thus useful in judging the approximate date of the structure the wood was used in. Dendrochronology is a form of absolute dating in archaeology. Radiocarbon dating (C14) states that all living things incorporate radiocarbon and compares once living items by measuring organic material to find specific dates. This type of dating requires multiple samples in order to be effective.
The space and time concepts of context are closely tied to human behavior. The law of association is the principle that artifacts are contemporaneous if they were used around the same time. Artifacts in relation to each other in time may determine some sort of similar behavior that the archaeologist may

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