These measures can refine TPQs by removing ceramic outliers that may have been introduced through excavation error or disturbance. Dates allow archeologists to connect a site/deposit to a specific time period, allowing us a better understanding of the past.
The Mean Ceramic Date, developed by Stanley South, is a system that uses statistics, known dates of manufacture, and ceramic sherds to date a site.
Although an object may have a known manufacturing date, this does not mean that the object was used when it was made. A hand-me-down set of dishes you inherited when you went to college?
The pipe stem date (using Lewis Binford’s formula) is 1746.67. Creating a Harris Matrix allows archaeologists to put excavation contexts in order from the bottom of the site to the top.
We created a diagram capturing the relationships of the layers (or strata), which was digitized and made available for download on This dating technique can provide a more accurate measure for the date after which a particular layer or phase was formed by calculating the beginning date of manufacture of the latest dating artifact in an assemblage or sub-assemblage.
By seeing which drill bit the pipe stems fits on top of, you can determine the diameter of the pipe stem. Better access to tobacco meant a person could smoke more tobacco, meaning bigger bowls to hold the extra tobacco. A longer stem would have kept the bowl (and heat) further from the mouth.
is that bore diameters decreased to compensate for an increase in the length of the stems. Another theory among archeologists for the decrease in bore diameters is that tobacco became more refined, meaning the pieces of tobacco were smaller. Or are there other reasons that could account for the decrease in bore diameter? Is it because people break them off because the stem gets dirty?
Historical archaeologists date their sites using a variety of methods, each with its strengths and weaknesses.
Here’s a roadmap that explains how we dated the midden feature itself, its layers and phases, and developed the site chronology incorporating documented events found in the archaeological record. Historical archaeologists most commonly utilize documented changes in ceramic ware type and decoration to date layers, features, and archaeological sites.
Historical archeologists have an advantage when it comes to dating because of the written historical record.
When we study a site, we also study the documents associated with the site.
For example, if you had a handful of coins from a particular layer, dated 1750, 1775, 1800, and 1802, the TPQ (or ) is 1802.