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Historical Archaeology

, Volume 37, Issue 2, pp 38–64 | Cite as

Dating Historical Sites: The Importance of Understanding Time Lag in the Acquisition, Curation, Use, and Disposal of Artifacts

  • William Hampton Adams
Article

Abstract

Each object has a lifespan in which it is made, transported, marketed, used, and discarded. Although the manufacturing date range for artifacts may be known, we should not equate the manufacturing range for an object type with the use range for a particular object. Studies from several locations indicate ceramic artifacts have lifespans of as much as 15 years and more in a household before being discarded. Ceramics can be poor sources for dating sites if used without considering the cultural contexts in which they are used, yet ceramics are the artifact class used most often in dating sites.

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Copyright information

© Society for Historical Archaeology 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • William Hampton Adams
    • 1
  1. 1.California State University Channel IslandsCamarilloUSA

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