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Scientific dating of pottery
Quote:quote:Originally posted by wombat

I know its early days and there are a lot of wrinkles to sort out but I for one think is potentially of major importance, and could be something worth getting genuinely excited about for a change. There may be some pottery specialists with red faces out there in about ten years time....

<Personal gripe alert> Personally I can't wait until they try it on Highgate C ware and realise it does start production pre-70AD after the dendro and strat says!

I hope this does work, and is cheap, dating even CBM would be fantastic, but it will all need calibrating by the stratigraphy and the interpretation of that. Context is king. How many C14 dates does the average site get? Even with cheap dating and Bayesian (sp?) analysis you only use a few C14 samples for specific target features/stratigraphic nodes. Each potential sample will need equally rigorous thought applied to selection.

Bricks are routinely re-used hundreds or thousands of years after production, pottery forms last a hundred years in some cases, items are often kept for decades before dispsal, so it will need detailed work to recalibrate the complex dating relationships we have constructed between classes of find and known dates. Very interesting and very exciting. Lots of detailed work for specialists, which should be made far more accurate by using well-recorded stratigraphic sequences to select the right sherds/frags to date to create a framework. And that framework will need to be subject to iterative testing to ensure we don't get led into a false sense of security.

Personally I think if they are achieving dates of that clarity this could be absolutely amazing. Is this how it felt when C14 dating was first mooted?


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