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These tell him the environmental conditions in which the people he is studying lived; he now sees his material remains not as isolated artifacts but in the context of their original environments.
Having analyzed his discoveries according to their form, material, and biological association, the archaeologist then comes to the all-important problem of dating.
The analysis of the bones has been very helpful here. If bones in apparently the same geological or archaeological level have markedly different fluorine content, then it is clear that there must be interference—for example, by a later burial, or by deliberate planting of faked remains, as happened in the case of the king lists and records in Egypt and Mesopotamia goes back only 5,000 years.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.Some archaeologists, even until quite recent times, have mistakenly supposed that depth below ground level is itself an indication of antiquity.But even in properly observed and recorded stratigraphic levels there is often doubt, and the question arises: are all the artifacts and human remains found in the same level contemporary?