ANTH 2303 Lecture 20: 10-12-2016 Vertical Provenience Continued

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ANTH 2303
Vertical Provenience Continued
Archaeologists destroy sites as they study and excavate them
o This requires that the archaeologist keep track of all of the artifacts that are
o The philosophy behind provenience is that the archaeologist would be place all of
the artifacts back into the site as they were found
o This is the side of a square of a site
o The first step is to dig below this square and this will be the beginning of zone 1,
using 10 centimeter levels
And the first level will be within this zone, at 1.75 below the surface, level
1 would also be labeled as Lot 1
Level 2 would also be labeled Lot 2
Level 3/Lot 3
Zone 2 red clay it’s a floor – this would be labeled as Lot 4 only one
Below zone 2/lot 4/the floor is Zone 3 level 1 yellow sand this is lot 5
Zone 3 level 2 lot 6
Zone 3 level 3 lot 7 say an artifact is found here, this artifact
could be stuck in a layer of fill in which case its presence will offer
no information to the archaeologist, but ideally it is sitting on top
of a floor where an archaeologist is more likely to find more
Zone 3 level 4 lot 8
Zone 3 level 5 lot 9
Zone 3 level 6 lot 10 here we have found the bottom of the
artifact and we have hit a floor this artifact will be associated
with lot 10, not lot 7 in which it was first found
Zone 4 level 1 lot 11 compact grey clay this is the floor on which the
artifact of lot 10 sits
Zone 5 level 1 lot 12 grey sand let’s say here we found a SHIT TON of
artifacts… it’s a midden!!
o In the above example, the levels above a floor would be most important in finding
artifacts, as it is right on top of the floor and artifacts are on top of said floor
Deposit Types
o Cache
o Burials
o Floors
o In situ deposit the level directly above a floor, has a shit ton of artifacts
o Fill sediments that are culturally placed on the archaeological site, this is the
least informative deposit type, least useful to an archaeologist
o Midden secondary refuse area
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