Typology dating techniques
Archaeologists also look for features while excavating a site.A feature is evidence of a human activity that is not movable, and usually has a vertical component.The time periods and date ranges used are based on Jeff Boudreau’s typology of New England projectile points.Archaeologists use many different techniques to determine the age of a particular artifact, site, or part of a site.An aspect of a site that is only horizontal, such as a road, is not a feature.An example is a frequently used fire ring will leave evidence behind in the soil, but it cannot be moved with the occupants.After archaeologists have excavated the site completely, or to the extent the project planned, they fill the site back in and take the artifacts to be analyzed.
Archaeologists also use non-invasive techniques to survey sites known as remote sensing.
Cross-dating of sites, comparing geologic strata at one site with another location and extrapolating the relative ages in that manner, is still an important dating strategy used today, primarily when sites are far too old for absolute dates to have much meaning.
The scholar most associated with the rules of stratigraphy (or law of superposition) is probably the geologist Charles Lyell.
The basis for stratigraphy seems quite intuitive today, but its applications were no less than earth-shattering to archaeological theory.
For example, JJA Worsaae used this law to prove the Three Age System.