In fact, because people make objects in accordance with slowly evolving cultural conventions, it is perfectly possible to place objects in the correct relative sequence, that is to construct a typology.
It is what we do all the time in our everyday lives when we look at clothes or cars and place them in the right sequence.
RADIOCARBON DATING OF ANCIENT POTTERY is now possible, thanks to scientists at the University of Bristol, who have developed a technique for dating ancient pottery using the animal fat it contains.
Pottery is normally dated by placing it in a relative typological sequence, based on its shape and composition, and establishing absolute dates only when specific pottery types are found in strata that can be dated on other grounds.
His first exhibition was of the Hawara mummy masks in the Egyptian Hall in Piccadilly.
It was in the same room where Belzoni had displayed his replica of the tomb of Seti I.
Petrie became a keen photographer and designed and built his own camera.
And, as you can see below, it has the potential for dating other artifacts besides pottery. Here's one of the articles on the new method (via Bible and Interpretation News): On the antiquity of pots: New method developed for dating archaeological pottery (Eureka Alert!
"However, most of this pottery is not display quality material, but is stored in bags and boxes in the museum archive." [Richard] Evershed [Ph.
D., a chemist at the University of Bristol] and his colleagues also plan to use the technique to study mummies.
"A lot of Egyptian mummies were exported out of Egypt by the Victorians, and they often applied modern treatments to preserve them," Evershed says.
The researchers hope to distinguish between a modern treatment and the original embalming agent.