Whilst John's comments are very interesting and he poses some great
....can I just add a cautionary note about the dating of archaeology.
Firstly the radiocarbon dates of the British Iron-Age..... they are
terrible! It's unavoidable and is because the dendro based calibration
curves for Northern Europe and particularly Northern England at that
time are very flat - so you get a very wide error range. No matter how
accurate your C14 date the date is never going to be very precise for a
British Iron Age sample and it's a real pain in the rear. (There are
currently some interesting PhDs and research projects looking at Baysian
analysis of multiple C14 dates in stratigraphic sequences to try to help
improve the dating resolution a little).
Also whilst I'm no expert on the intricacies of Involute Brooch typology
can I also add a cautionary note about the use of typologies as a form
of dating - they're only supposed dates for these sequences and they are
only ever as good as the other dating technique used to date the
archaeological context from which original examples of that type of
brooch come from.
Many typologies have a long history of study - which is all well and
good, however, the earlier studies of a particular type will attribute a
particular type to a certain date based on the dating evidence available
at the time the study was carried out..... those dating techniques may
now be suspect, prone to errors unknown at the time or just plain wrong.
Hence the typology dates can be out by a considerable degree - which is
why whilst they can be useful, they should not be considered absolute
dates or used as a single piece of evidence
I would make a plea for typologies to adopt the same scientific rigour
of other dating techniques by the mathematical calculation of error
ranges and deviation (multiply the errors from each dating technique
used together to form the error for the typology overall).
This is not to suggest that John's hypothesis is wrong (in fact I'll be
asking some of his questions to my friends who have worked on the
Ferrybridge samples about the dating next time I see them) but just an
observation from an archaeological science trained archaeologist to
throw into the melting pot for consideration.
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