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Now, with exact dating techniques at his disposal, the prehistorian is becoming more like the historical archaeologist and is concerned with the periodization and the historical contexts of his finds.
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Having analyzed his discoveries according to their form, material, and biological association, the archaeologist then comes to the all-important problem of dating.
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Excavation often seems to the general public the main and certainly the most glamorous aspect of archaeology; but fieldwork and excavation represent only a part of the archaeologist’s work.
When he is dealing with medieval and modern history he is often doing no more than adding to knowledge already available from documentary sources: but even so his contribution is often of great importance; for example, in relation to the growth and development of towns and the study of deserted medieval villages.
When he is dealing with ancient history and prehistory, he is making a contribution of the greatest importance and often one that is more important than that of purely literary and epigraphical sources.