Radiocarbon dating is only accurate for objects
In addition to temporal organization, seriation results may reflect assemblage differences in social status, age, sex or those resulting from regional variation (or a combination of two or more of these factors). 343) presents a seriation result of Danish hoards based on artefact types like daggers, axes, and swords.The result is not a chronological sequence due to the selection of types, the ordering seems to start with extremely male hoards and ends with extremely female ones. 269) Nowadays, seriation results are no longer produced manually as in Petrie's times but by appropriate algorithms.In 1971, Kendall proposed the use of multidimensional scaling techniques for seriation problems, and this approach has also been used by some other scientists (see Baxter 2003, pp. Baxter also presents a review of statistical methods for seriation and a description of these approaches (pp. Today, the most popular seriation method both for contextual and frequency problems is based on correspondence analysis. Using this technique, not only the sequence of the objects but also those of the design styles is established.
Robinson based his frequency seriation method on a similarity matrix. 269–281) summarized the state of the art of seriation methods thoroughly, giving detailed descriptions of Kendall's and Robinson's approaches.The resulting scatterplot showed the form of a horse-shoe where the graves were arranged on the curve according to their chronological order.Similarly, a mapping of the component scores for the first two axes of the correspondence analysis result will display a parabola if the design styles considered are controlled by one factor only (like chronology).Hill and Gauch (1980) presented a method to remove this effect.In 2003, Groenen and Poblome adapted the correspondence analysis algorithm to combine seriation with absolute dates and stratigraphic relationships.