Terminus Post Quem

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Latin phrase meaning 'the end after which' - the date after which a stratum, feature, or artifact must have been deposited. The term is used either to define a relative chronological date for artifacts or provide fixed points in a site's stratigraphy. If a deposit contains dateable coins or pottery, then deposits stratigraphically later must be of a later date than that given by such material; the dated layer gives a terminus post quem for the undated deposit. In some circumstances, if combined with a terminus ante quem, the deposit may be dated securely between the two.