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Archaeological cross dating: a formalized scheme

Archaeological cross dating: a formalized scheme Cross dating is the standard method by which archaeologists date archaeological contexts of unknown age based on parallel contexts of known age. Despite its importance, archaeological cross dating apparently still lacks proper mathematical modelling and a precise methodology. This paper proposes a formal definition of cross dating and discusses its complexity and limitations. We define the concept of “chronological propagation” between time periods and characterize its mechanism in terms of various types of synchronisms. We discuss the notion of archaeological contemporaneity, we define its inherent limitations for performing cross dating and we propose two practical solutions to deal with these limitations. We then present a comprehensive scheme for modelling real-life cross dating applications, based on the recent ChronoLog software (chrono.ulb.be). Finally, we illustrate these concepts by a practical case study from Aegean Bronze Age archaeology: Tomb 4 at Sellopoulo (Crete) and its rich assemblage linking the chronologies of Crete, Mycenaean Greece and Egypt. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences Springer Journals

Archaeological cross dating: a formalized scheme

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2021
ISSN
1866-9557
eISSN
1866-9565
DOI
10.1007/s12520-021-01371-8
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Cross dating is the standard method by which archaeologists date archaeological contexts of unknown age based on parallel contexts of known age. Despite its importance, archaeological cross dating apparently still lacks proper mathematical modelling and a precise methodology. This paper proposes a formal definition of cross dating and discusses its complexity and limitations. We define the concept of “chronological propagation” between time periods and characterize its mechanism in terms of various types of synchronisms. We discuss the notion of archaeological contemporaneity, we define its inherent limitations for performing cross dating and we propose two practical solutions to deal with these limitations. We then present a comprehensive scheme for modelling real-life cross dating applications, based on the recent ChronoLog software (chrono.ulb.be). Finally, we illustrate these concepts by a practical case study from Aegean Bronze Age archaeology: Tomb 4 at Sellopoulo (Crete) and its rich assemblage linking the chronologies of Crete, Mycenaean Greece and Egypt.

Journal

Archaeological and Anthropological SciencesSpringer Journals

Published: Nov 1, 2021

Keywords: Chronology; Cross dating; Sellopoulo; ChronoLog

References