Dating methodology archaeology
It is crucial that dating a context is based on the latest dating evidence drawn from the context.
We can also see that if the fill of cut 5 — the wall 2, backfill 3 and trample 12 — are not removed entirely during excavation because of "undercutting", non-residual artifacts from these later "higher" contexts 2, 3 and 12 could contaminate the excavation of earlier contexts such as 9 and 10 and give false dating information these artifacts may be termed intrusive finds.
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Some degree of dating objects by their position in the sequence can be made with known datable elements of the archaeological record or other assumed datable contexts deduced by a regressive form of relative dating which in turn can fix events represented by contexts to some range in time.
If we look at the sequence in fig A we may find that the cut for the construction of wall 2, context 5, has cut through layers 9 and 10 and in doing so has introduced the possibility that artifacts from layers 9 and 10 may be redeposited higher up the sequence in the context representing the backfill of the construction cut, context 3.
These artifacts are referred to as "residual" or "residual finds".
This polarity is stored within rocks, through this the rock can be dated Tephrochronology: Volcanic ash has its own signature for each eruption.
In a sedimentary sequence the associated material within the ash layer can be dated giving a date for the eruption.
For example the date of formation of a context which is totally sealed between two datable layers will fall between the dates of the two layers sealing it.