The method is still a standard for cemetery studies.
Plotting several curves can allow the archaeologist to develop a relative chronology for an entire site or group of sites.
For detailed information about how seriation works, see Seriation: A Step by Step Description.
Seriation is thought to be the first application of statistics in archaeology. The most famous seriation study was probably Deetz and Dethlefsen's study Death's Head, Cherub, Urn and Willow, on changing styles on gravestones in New England cemeteries.
Until the 20th century, with its multiple developments, only relative dates could be determined with any confidence.
Since the turn of the century, several methods to measure elapsed time have been discovered.