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Posted by / 14-May-2020 17:49

Having analyzed his discoveries according to their form, material, and biological association, the archaeologist then comes to the all-important problem of dating.

Many material remains of man’s past have no dating problem: they may be, like coins, or most coins, self-dating, or they may be dated by man-made dates in written records.

This is something that the archaeologist himself is rarely equipped to do; he has to rely on colleagues specializing in geology, Stonehenge (a prehistoric construction on Salisbury Plain in southern England) had come from the Prescelly Mountains of north Pembrokeshire; and he established as a fact of prehistory that over 4,000 years ago these large stones had been transported 200 miles from west Wales to Salisbury Plain.

Some archaeologists, even until quite recent times, have mistakenly supposed that depth below ground level is itself an indication of antiquity.

But prehistoric remains have always been the most difficult to interpret, precisely because there are no written records to aid in the task.

Now, with exact dating techniques at his disposal, the prehistorian is becoming more like the historical archaeologist and is concerned with the periodization and the historical contexts of his finds.

It is also now possible, entirely on a petrological basis, to study the prehistoric distribution of In the third place, the archaeologist, having dealt with the material of his artifacts by classification and taxonomy, and with its physical nature by petrology and metallurgy, turns to the remaining information he can get from his colleagues in the natural sciences.

These tell him the environmental conditions in which the people he is studying lived; he now sees his material remains not as isolated artifacts but in the context of their original environments.

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