(View exact match)law of superpositionCATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: The principle that states that in any pile of sedimentary rocks that have not been disturbed by folding or overturning, the strata on the bottom will have been deposited first. This is the principle that the sequence of observable strata, from bottom to top, reflects the order of deposition, from earliest to latest. Older beds or strata are overlain and buried by progressively younger beds or strata.superpositionCATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: The principle that artifacts found at a lower level of a site predate those at a higher level. The order in which sedimentary layers are deposited, the highest being the youngest.
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Breuil, Abbé Henri (1877-1961)SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Breuil, Henri-Édouard-Prosper
DEFINITION: A French archaeologist who was regarded as an authority on prehistoric cave paintings of Europe and Africa. He devoted much of his life to studying examples of prehistoric art in southern France, northern Spain, and southern Africa. Breuil was a fine draftsman, and his greatest contributions were in the recording and interpretation of cave art in more than 600 publications. He proposed a series of four successive art styles, based on the superposition of paintings found in many caves, and held the view that the purpose of the paintings was sympathetic magic, to ensure success in hunting. Breuil fit the Aurignacian culture into its right place within the French Palaeolithic sequence and was responsible for working out the chronologies of French Upper and Middle Paleolithic periods.relative chronologySYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: stratigraphy
CATEGORY: technique; chronology
DEFINITION: A time scale developed by the law of superposition or artifact ordering. It is the establishment of a chronology in which occurrences can be placed in the correct sequence relative to each other or to some known succession of events. Stratigraphy is the study of the relative chronology of the Earth's strata.stratigraphic relationshipsCATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: Relationships of a superpositional nature, where one deposit lies above another, or they are made up of correlations, where strata or features have been cut into isolated parts by later digging.stratigraphyCATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: The study and interpretation of the stratification of rocks, sediments, soils, or cultural debris, based on the principle that the lowest layer is the oldest and the uppermost in the youngest - a major tool in establishing a relative dating sequence. The sequence of deposition can be assessed by a study of the relationships of different layers. Dateable artifacts found within layers, and layers or structures which are themselves dateable, can be used to date parts of stratigraphic sequences. An archaeologist has to master the skill to recognize it - to distinguish one deposit from another by its color, texture, smell, or contents; to understand it - to explain how each layer came to be added, whether by natural accumulation, deliberate fill, or collapse of higher-standing buildings; and to record it in measured drawings of the section. There can be problems where a feature filled with one type of material cuts into layers of the same material. Unless the later feature is recognized, objects of two different phases may appear to be stratified together. The underlying principles are: law of superposition, law of cross-cutting relationships, included fragments, and correlation by fossil inclusions. The stratigraphy principle was adopted from geology and is the basis of reconstructing the history of an archaeological site.