Dating methods used in archaeology
Archaeologists also look for features while excavating a site.
Kinglists in Greek, apparently compiled by a third century BC Egyptian priest named Manetho, are preserved in summaries by early Christian writers, with excerpts in other writers of the Roman Period and later, notably the Jewish historian Josephus.
They start by setting up a grid and connecting the grid to a datum. They carefully remove dirt and note the precise location of any artifacts found.
A datum is a fixed reference point, often one placed by the U. The context of the artifact is just as important as the artifact itself, so the artifacts are always carefully mapped and documented.
If we knew the precise length of reign for every Egyptian king, chronology would be no problem.
However, we do not even know the number of kings for all periods, and there is also the possibility that reigns overlapped by coregency or in times of political disunity.
After archaeologists have excavated the site completely, or to the extent the project planned, they fill the site back in and take the artifacts to be analyzed.