book cover

H 290 x W 205 mm

308 pages

153 figures, 6 tables (71 pages in colour)

Published Oct 2019

Archaeopress Archaeology


Paperback: 9781789692525

Digital: 9781789692532

Recommend to a librarian

urban archaeology; Classical archaeology; assemblages; dating; formation processes; residuality; Monte Carlo; Roman pottery

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Dating Urban Classical Deposits: Approaches and Problems in Using Finds to Date Strata

By Guido Furlan

Includes PDF

Open Access
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This book considers the dating of archaeological strata on the basis of the assemblages recovered from them. It reviews the present state of archaeological practice and follows this with a theoretical discussion of the key concepts involved in the issue of dating deposits.



Preface (Prof. J. Bonetto, UNIPD) ; 

Part I Introducing the topic ; 
I.1 Introductory remarks ; 
I.2 Notes for a literature review ; 

Part II Theory ; 
II.1 Preliminary observations ; 
II.2 Key concepts ; 

Part III Tools ; 
III.1 Introduction ; 
III.2 OSL, TL, mortar dating and non-mediated chronology ; 
III.3 A quantitative approach to assemblages ; 
III.4 Qualitative approaches to assemblages and deposits ; 
III.5 The contribution of ethnoarchaeology, experimental archaeology and literary sources ; 
III.6 Coping with intrusive materials ; 

Part IV Typology and analysis ; 
IV.1 The arrangement (a typology for deposits?) ; 
IV.2 Primary deposits with abrupt formation ; 
IV.3 Primary deposits with continuous formation ; 
IV.4 Mixed deposits ; 
IV.5 Secondary deposits ; 
IV.6 Other deposits ; 

Part V Synthesis and conclusions ; 
V.1 Towards a working method ; 
V.2 Conclusions ; 

Appendices ; 
1. Self-archaeology compiled forms ; 
2. The main sites ; 


About the Author

Guido Furlan is a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Padova, where he achieved his doctorate in 2015. His current research focuses on Roman archaeology and post-excavation methodologies. He was involved, among others, in the investigation of the forum of Nora (Sardinia) until 2008, and in the excavation of the House of Titus Macer, Aquileia, from 2009 to 2013. He is currently working on the theatre of the ancient city.


'Guido Furlan's merit is to bring together the English and Italian language research and to show parallel lines of discussion that are often ignored by the other side. He also shows how easily statistical methods can be used profitably and included in the evaluation of an excavation. In classical archaeology, in particular, reflection on archaeological taphonomy should be given greater weight. In this regard, the book discussed is a contribution worth reading, which gives reason to hope that the subject will also be dealt with more intensively in German-speaking countries.' – Thomas Lappi (2021): Germania 99