Typology is the classification of things according to their characteristics, and has seen widespread application in Archaeology. Typology may also be used to denote the results of a classification exercise, for example, a classification of pottery vessel forms such as the Dragendorff typology of Roman Samian ware.
In the 19th and early 20th Centuries archaeological typologies were usually constructed using a combination of empirical observation and intuition. Since the 1960s mathematical methods (including Cluster analysis, Principal components analysis, and Factor analysis) have been used. During the 1990s archaeologists began to use phylogenetic methods borrowed from Cladistics.
See also Taxonomy
Typology is also a branch of linguistics which concerns itself with comparing the properties that languages have, disregarding their genetic relationships.