This week we were tasked with ordering a series of bottles found at a site using seriation. The Law of Superposition also told us that bottle B was older than bottle L, but gave no further information. The order that I believe that the bottles were originally created is, from oldest to newest, A, C, J, G, B, I, F, K, D, E, H, and L. This order gives a nice transition in both decoration and shape of body, neck, and rim.
Bottles H and L seem like they could fit into the sequence at the very end, as they pick up on the half-decorated body style of E. During this time, however, several changes occur very quickly. Applique and punctate decoration return, then immediately leave. The flanged rim does as well. So do the vertical stripes, but unlike before they only are on the top half of the body.
I believe that this is the result of there having been a significant gap in time between E and H. During this time, bottle design underwent several changes that are not present on the site. Similarly, I believe there may have, at one point, been a design between bottles K and D, which also undergo a fairly large change (the stripes on the body change from a few vertical stripes to many horizontal stripes). However, as the changes are much more significant between bottles E and H, I expect that there were likely more bottle designs between E and H than K and D.
The main feature that caused me to place these bottles where they are is their body shape being not entirely dissimilar to E, as well as their half-decorated style. Honestly, if not for the fact that the Law of Superposition told us that B is older than L, I may have placed L and H immediately before A, and in that order. However, since the bottles from A to K make a very nice transition, giving us B’s relative age to A, H cannot be A’s predecessor.
For the most part, the seriational ordering corresponds well to the findings of the stratigraphic problem we did earlier in the class. There are a few styles that are found in the stratigraphic problem that are missing from this problem, however, including the multi-colored pottery and the undecorated pottery. Perhaps there were no bottles with these decorations (or lack thereof), only pots. However, in the stratigraphy problem, red painted bands occur before the zoned punctate decoration, which would place D and E between J and G. I chose to order the way I did as the stirrup shape experiences a much more gradual change this way. If D and E were to be where the stratigraphy problem might suggest, the stirrups would have changed from massive stirrups to narrow, triangular stirrups for a short time, then back to massive stirrups before finally ending on narrow, rounded stirrups.