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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.The first and simplest method of absolute dating is using objects with dates inscribed on them, such as coins, or objects associated with historical events or documents.

And, outside of certain periods in our past, there simply were no chronologically dated objects, or the necessary depth and detail of history that would assist in chronologically dating civilizations.

Stratigraphy is based on the law of superposition--like a layer cake, the lowest layers must have been formed first.

In other words, artifacts found in the upper layers of a site will have been deposited more recently than those found in the lower layers.

Douglass believed that solar flares affected climate, and hence the amount of growth a tree might gain in a given year.

His research culminated in proving that tree ring width varies with annual rainfall.

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