Acheological dating of grave headstones

Posted by / 23-Jul-2017 13:12

Acheological dating of grave headstones

When the old type goes out of style, new ones are developed to replace it.These patterns of popularity that go from periods of limited distribution to widespread distribution and finally to a second phase of limited distribution can be graphed as a "lenticular" (lens shaped) or battleship-shaped curve.Their study seemed to confirm traditional archaeological assumptions.

Despite universal recognition of the importance of their research for archaeological understanding of material culture, Deetz and Dethlef sen's gravestone studies have not been without critics.They rightly considered gravestones ideal for establishing this kind of perspective because the stones permit control of the varying archaeological dimensions of space (it was assumed that they would not be moved far from their initial place of erection); time (since they are inscribed with dates); and form (since the patterns used to decorate them are sufficiently complex that variations can be easily recognized).Deetz and Dethlefsen focused their study on gravestones in New England, paying particular attention to changes in the gravestones' decorations, shapes and inscriptions.The popularity of a particular form of artifact will normally follow a pattern that begins with the appearance of a limited number of examples of a new type, and progresses until the new type has achieved broad and widespread distribution.Eventually, the popularity of the type will fade and only a few representatives--heirlooms, perhaps--will linger in use.

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The same reliance on "the material" that provides archaeology with its strength, however, also accounts for archaeology's greatest weakness.

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