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Seriation, on the other hand, was a stroke of genius.First used, and likely invented by archaeologist Sir William Flinders-Petrie in 1899, seriation (or sequence dating) is based on the idea that artifacts change over time.The method is still a standard for cemetery studies.Absolute dating, the ability to attach a specific chronological date to an object or collection of objects, was a breakthrough for archaeologists.
Thus, we may think of a statement as either logically true or false, but we also know that there are degrees of truthfulness and falsehood.
The first and simplest method of absolute dating is using objects with dates inscribed on them, such as coins, or objects associated with historical events or documents.
For example, since each Roman emperor had his own face stamped on coins during his realm, and dates for emperor's realms are known from historical records, the date a coin was minted may be discerned by identifying the emperor depicted.
For detailed information about how seriation works, see Seriation: A Step by Step Description.
Seriation is thought to be the first application of statistics in archaeology. The most famous seriation study was probably Deetz and Dethlefsen's study Death's Head, Cherub, Urn and Willow, on changing styles on gravestones in New England cemeteries.