ANTH 2303 Lecture 21: 10-10-2016 Vertical Provenience

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ANTH 2303
Vertical Provenience
What are the goals of excavation and vertical provenience?
Stratification the layering of natural sediments at an archaeological site
Stratigraphy the layering of cultural materials (artifacts) at an archaeological site
Excavate in Zones and Levels
o Zone (Zn, Roman numeral) any discernable stratum (both stratification and
stratigraphy), zones must be identified and differentiated
o Level (Lvl, Arabic numeral) arbitrary stratum excavated at a site
Excavate a Control Test Pit this is a test pit that is off of the site, this is done to
determine the stratification in the site area, test pits are often not as big as the actual dig
site as it is only meant for identifying the natural stratification of the earth
Block Excavation a series or a group of contiguous /adjoining squares on a dig site that
will correspond to floors and living surfaces
Zones are labeled in roman numerals, starting at the top level, and the levels are layers
within the larger zone and are labeled in numbers starting from the top of that particular
o Zones are differentiated and labeled by color and soil type (loam, sand, etc.) and
then the levels within this zone are identified arbitrarily-as stated in their
Change in color between layers of soil indicates a change in culture and zone
Profile the drawing of the excavated wall of an archaeological unit
Elevation of the surface of the site must be determined
o Sea level is not used to determine this, what is used is NGVD
o Use of a vertical dadum
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