W6 Reflection Post

The best sequence of vessels that I could establish from the given evidence are as follows, from oldest to youngest:

J, C, G, B, I, F, K, D, E, L, H

I established this using seriation, knowing a few pieces of information to begin with.  We know that the vessels were found in a single cemetery, so everything appeared in a similar region.  Also, we know that vessel B was older than L, based off the law of superposition.  I assumed that there were all of the same culture, and there were no external influences on the culture that caused any sudden change in style.  We see that the style begins with speckled and white plain decoration and slowly changes over time to different styles of black stripes, horizontal and vertical, on the body and spout. The body shape thins out and gets taller, then widens and flattens over time.  We can see old styles come back in later vessels such as the speckled or flanged rim design.  My sequence is based off the most gradual changes possible over time for the different color, decoration, shape, and size features of the vessels.

-It appears from the style of the vessel and the decoration that A does not fit in to the sequence smoothly.  It has a unique decoration; random white designs in the speckled body.  It also has a uniquely circular gap formed by the stirrup.  It shares a flanged rim with only C, G, H, and J.  Its body is uniquely tall and skinny, especially compared to its massive stirrup size.

-I can conclude that this vessel is most closely related to vessel C, but still not a part of the sequence of gradual changes.  I believe that a sudden change in culture must have caused these drastic style changes.  It is possible that there are many vessels leading up to this vessel that are missing, which explain the large gap, or there could have been some outside influence that contributed unforeseen cultural factors.

-From my sequence, I believe this vessel would have appeared between C and G.  It appears to be most similar to these styles because it shares the flanged rim with both, and has a tall, skinny body that most closely resembles that of C and G.  The white design with a speckled body is also shared, although the designs vary quite drastically.  A has a very circular stirrup, while the other two have mostly circular stirrups, but slightly more flat.

-In both the seriation problem and the stratigraphic problem we see the inference of many different collections of styles or artifacts to make an estimation of the chronological order of the artifacts.  This is all relative dating, since we cannot make definitive time estimates about when these changes in style occurred.  It is possible in both cases that there are unknown variables that caused the sequence to actually differ than what our evidence shows, but we can only give our best approximation.

2 thoughts on “W6 Reflection Post

  1. Jason, my sequence looked nearly identical to yours. In a few places I had two vessels reversed but overall I think we came to similar conclusions. I also had a hard time placing vessel A. It was unique, as you said, it looked similar to other vessels but had features that were unlike any of the vessels, from any time point of this sequence. When discussing the association between this exercise and the last you brought up interference. This fits perfectly with this exercise as it did with the last. I also touched upon the idea that in this exercise, and all forms of relative dating, an approximation is determined not by chemical data but using an artifacts surroundings to date it.

  2. I also put that vessel A did not fit in the sequence. We came up with the same observations that the decoration was differen then the others and the flanged rim and massive stirrup. I was shocked when I read that you also observed that vessel A was tall and skinny. I didn’t think nobody else would catch that. Most of the vessels was wide and/or had a rounded bottom. Vessel A did look similar to other vessels but all together Vessel A was unique. I also thought vessel A best first between vessel C and G. Even though our sequence is different we still came up with the same conclusions.

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