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Differential Resolution in History and Archaeology

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image of Journal of East Asian Archaeology

History and archaeology often operate on different levels of resolution. Using archaeological means to solve historical questions is at best difficult if not impossible. Historical chronology demands exact dates, whereas archaeological chronology provides only a rough framework of time. Regardless of the recent technological advancement in radiocarbon dating, it still has little impact in the determination of historical chronology. Nevertheless, the Xia-Shang-Zhou Chronology Project has fostered a close relationship between the radiocarbon specialists and archaeologists and produced a fine-grained radiocarbon chronology of the Three Dynasties. This new archaeological absolute chronology revolutionizes the thinking of the interaction of political change and culture change.


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