added by archaeologs The organization of a group of objects into a series, or sequence, on the grounds of their physical attributes. This can be done visually or mathematically. Such series have been used in two ways: (1) To suggest evolutionary trends in, for example, the form of a particular group of arefacts; (2) supposing that a series does indeed represent evolutionary trends, to set up a relative chronology. Seriation as a mathematical technique is well established. Its application to archaeology, particularly as a dating method, involves rather far-reaching assumptions and should be approached with care.
The Macmillan dictionary of archaeology, Ruth D. Whitehouse, 1983