Former State Archaeologist William A. Many of the projectile points shown are from the collections of the New York State Museum. William A. The information he assembled helped to set early standards for typological analysis. Now, nearly 50 years later, this typology also reflects how archaeology as a discipline has changed over that time span. Before the mids, early archaeologists relied on relative dating to estimate the antiquity of Native American artifacts or prehistoric sites. By this approach, archaeologists used excavation results at stratified archaeological sites to determine relative age.
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Archaeologists have long known that prehistoric Native Americans made projectile points in different sizes and shapes. Through research, they discovered that, in general, Native Americans made points of a particular shape at a particular time. They calculated the age of different shapes of points by determining the age of the deposit in which they were found. At first, archaeologists could not tell time with much precision.
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