Dating pottery

Moisture expansion and weight gain are known to be proportional to each other for a specified material at any specified firing temperature.A small piece of the ceramic is first removed, weighed, and heated to 500 °C, effectively dehydrating it completely.The dating clock is provided by the experimental finding that the RHX reaction follows a precise kinetic law: the weight gain increases as the fourth root of the time which has elapsed since firing.According to the RHX power-law, if the weight of a fired-clay ceramic increases as a result of RHX by 0.1% in 1 yr from firing, then the weight increase is 0.2% in 16 yr, 0.3% in 81 yr and 0.4% in 256 yr (and so on).The underlying principle of stratigraphic analysis in archaeology is that of superposition.

To avoid the cultural conflation issue I have split pottery into four time based groups that essentially mimic what has come before, though what others term the Late Woodland and Mississippian are conflated.Relative dating in archaeology presumes the age of an artefact in relation and by comparison, to other objects found in its vicinity.Limits to relative dating are that it cannot provide an accurate year or a specific date of use.Chronological dating, or simply dating, is the process of attributing to an object or event a date in the past, allowing such object or event to be located in a previously established chronology.This usually requires what is commonly known as a "dating method".

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