ASSOCIATION: co-occurrence of two or more objects sharing the same general location and stratigraphic level, that are thought to have been deposited at approximately the same time (being in or on the same matrix). Objects are said to be in association with each other when they are found together in a context that suggests simultaneous deposition. Associations between objects are the basis for relative dating or chronology, and the concept of cross-dating as well as in interpretation – cultural connections, original function, etc. of pottery and flint tools associated in a closed context – would be grounds for linking them into an assemblage, possibly making the full material culture of a group available. The association of undated objects with artifacts of known date allows the one to be dated by the other. When two or more objects are found together and it can be proved that they
were deposited together, they are said to be in genuine or closed association. Examples of closed associations are those within a single interment grave, the material within a destruction level, or a hoard. An open association is one in which this can only be assumed, not proved. Artifacts may be found next to each other and still not be associated; one of the artifacts may be intrusive.