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In Egyptology the method was first used by Petrie for dating the Naqada period, from the development of the so-called wavy-handled pottery.- At least some objects belonging to such a typology should be datable by other criteria to fix a typology into a chronological framework. An object category or motif might develop not regularly but in staccato 'jumps'.Artefacts often have a distinctive style or design, which developed over a period of time.In archaeology, the gradual changes in motifs were exploited systematically as a dating method by researchers from Montelius onwards.

The method has a margin of accuracy of several hundred years and it is therefore not useful to fix dates in historic periods, but very useful for prehistory (in Egypt before 3000 BC).

The dating of remains is essential in archaeology, in order to place finds in correct relation to one another, and to understand what was present in the experience of any human being at a given time and place.

Inscribed objects sometimes bear an explicit date, or preserve the name of a dated individual. However, only a small number of objects are datable by inscriptions, and there are many specific problems with Egyptian chronology, so that even inscribed objects are rarely datable in absolute terms.

This method includes carbon dating and thermoluminescence.

The absolute dating method first appeared in 1907 with Lord Rutherford and Professor Boltwood at Yale University, but wasn’t accepted until the 1950s.

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