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date: 10 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The systematic arrangement of empirical evidence is the necessary premise of any archaeological enquiry. If the process that generated an observed pattern has to be investigated, archaeologists need to choose scales and units of analysis that are appropriate for their specific context and the relative research questions. Typology, classification, and grouping techniques were developed in the last century so that archaeological datasets could be ordered and analyzed. This chapter provides an overview of the most relevant approaches to archaeological sorting. By presenting the history and development of the notion type, the emergence of diverging trends in archaeological thought is discussed. A brief digression on the basic tenets that link pottery typology to relative dating techniques is followed by an overview of the many, possible approaches to pottery description.

Keywords: classification, grouping, dating techniques, archaeological sorting, pottery typology

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