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Basic Principals & Approaches to Excavation, Recovery Process.docx

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Bonnie Glencross

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Basic Principals & Approaches to Excavation, Recovery Process Approaches to Excavation  Flexibility in methodology is required, you never know what you will encounter until your there  Open area excavation: better recognize spatial patterning over large areas o Stratigraphy is recorded as excavation occurs and later reconstructed o Best for single component sites (only one occupant) that are relatively shallow o Recent plowing will ruin the context (places of things)  Therefore, researchers look for structures and features instead  Wheeler box grid: developed by Sir Mortimer Wheeler o baulks provide a record of stratigraphy at the site o allows layers to be traced and correlated across the site o Mellaart conducted horizontal & vertical investigations at Catalhoyuk in the early 1960s. Over 200 houses were exposed but he never reached the bottom of the mound o Because of where the baulks are in, it’s hard to distinguish one house from another  Baulks may also be sitting on something important  Step trenching: can avoid the issue of walls collapsing o Open up small areas and if it can be recognized that the site goes deep, go to the section next to it and dig even deeper  creates “steps” o Applicable to sites with lots of depth  Cofferdam: for sites that are wet or underwater o Pump water out so that the artifacts can be unveiled  Sometimes they may keep the water in to preserve the artifacts Some Basic Principles of Archeology  Archaeologists strata refer to the accumulation of natural and cultural debris in successive layers  Each layer represents a distinct period/ activity Laws of Stratigraphy  The vertical section/ profile shows the accumulated layers creating a sequence  Superposition: the one at the bottom is always the oldest, and things are layered on top (youngest on top)  Original Horizontality: the earth’s crust is shifting o The oldest is still at the bottom, youngest on top but the shape is different  Lateral continuity: there is a part missing, but the order is still the same  Cross-cutting: one layer(s) is inside the older years, new layers build on top  Unconformities represent periods of time where erosion or no deposition occurred Recording Stratigraphy- Harris matrix  A matrix depicts the sequence of deposition as seriation diagram; reflects relative position and contacts between units  A. separate boxes of different colors = no direct stratigraphic connection  B. connected boxes of different co
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