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C-14 dates are often published as dates 'before present' (the 'present' was fixed for analytical reasons at a single point, and the year AD 1950 was chosen for this) with the indication of the inaccuracy.
First used, and likely invented by archaeologist Sir William Flinders-Petrie in 1899, seriation (or sequence dating) is based on the idea that artifacts change over time.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'.Like tail fins on a Cadillac, artifact styles and characteristics change over time, coming into fashion, then fading in popularity. The standard graphical result of seriation is a series of "battleship curves," which are horizontal bars representing percentages plotted on a vertical axis.Plotting several curves can allow the archaeologist to develop a relative chronology for an entire site or group of sites.