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Range Creek Artifacts

Diagnostic artifacts are often collected by archaeologists when a site is recorded.  Diagnostic artifacts are those with characteristics that twell us they were made during a certain time period, or those that can be radio carbon dated.  The range of dates associated with particular artifacts is based on data collected from many archaeological sites used to build relative chronologies. Aboslute dates on artifacts come from radiocarbon dates and tree-ring dates.  The value of this type of dating depends on the length of time a particular style of artifact was used.  Some types were used for only a short time while others may have been used for many hundreds of years.  Artifacts types that were used for short time periods are most useful to scientists trying to date groupings of artifacts that include artifacts that are harder to date. They can be dated by association with other artifacts at the site.

Some of the important questions about any people are when were people here?  How long where they here? What did they do whie they were here? Artifacts can help archaeologist answer these questions. This is just one reason that it is important that visitors to archaeological sites leave artifacts where they find them.  When someone takes an arrow point or piece of pottery from a site they take something far more valuable than the object, they rob the site of the most important information of all - the answers to questions about their behavior?