Methodology

Data collection and insertion methodology

The database, BRC14Database, was built in order to offer a systematic and grouped research base on absolute dates available for archaeological sites located in Brazil.

For filling it, we have consulted articles, chapters, theses, dissertations and reports publicly available. Eventually unpublished data may be incorporated, provided they are accompanied by the consent of the author researcher responsible for dating.

Since our goal is to offer a broad base for research, we chose to not perform any kind of pre-selection or “cleaning” of the dates.

The essential condition for a date to be incorporated into the Database is to be accompanied by a reference to where it was published or who obtained it, and to be clearly linked to a properly identified archaeological site. These are essential information since they allow the reader / researcher to check the available information and define its reliability based on its own criteria.

However, we try to obtain and provide as much information as possible about each sample. The extent and detail of this information are directly dependent on the quality of the information available in the researched sources.

Regarding information on possible contamination, stratigraphic inversions and weak cultural association of the dated samples, we seek to insert in the database exclusively the information provided by the authors of the consulted works. When the field for this item is blank, it means that there are no comments on these aspects in the reference works for that date.

Keep in mind that we do not carry out any pre-selection of the dates inserted in the database, we strongly recommend that any use of the dates presented here be preceded by a checking and an evaluation of their reliability by searching the sources indicated in the “primary reference” and / or “secondary reference(s)”.

To check and, eventually contribute with the information of new dates or improvement of those already existing, you can check in the Collaborate page which information is sought for each date.

In the Collaborate page you will find a file with two spreadsheets: one with an indication of all fields of information searched for each date entered in our database and another, called metadata, which presents a description of each of these fields.

A key point of this database also involved the georeferencing of all the sites that provided dating samples. Unfortunately, not all sites for which dates are available have their exact location disclosed and published. We often had to proceed through the georeferencing through published maps or approximations from the descriptions about location provided in the consulted sources. In these cases, we indicate that the location of the site has been estimated. Few sites in the database could not be located, thus remaining outside the maps presented on the site. However, we have chosen to keep them on the list of Database sites in the hope that the researchers involved will contribute to the database feed by sending the missing information.

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