Chapter 7 Vocab (book)
• Global Positioning System: System of precisely locating any point on earch, originally
developed exclusively for military use through the use of 24 satellites orbiting our planet. Less-
precise, degraded satellite signals were first made available to anyone with a receiver, and as of
May 2000, the non-degraded signal became available. With a handheld GPS unit costing just a
few hundred dollars, the location of an archaeological site to within just a few meters can be
determined, and its location in relation to surrounding resources-resources that may have played
a role in a past people's use of the location in the first place- can be assessed.
• WideAreaAugmentation System:Aprocess added to the standard Global Positioning System
that provides for even greater locational accuracy, down to about 2 meters.
• SpatialAssociations: The spatial linkages of material at an archaeological site. Items that are
found in close proximity to one another and werte probably deposited together as a result of
their linkage in a behavioral context are said to be in spatial association with one another.Akey
rationale for initially leaving items in place (in situ) upon their discovery during excavation of
an archaeological site, as well as providing a reason for the detailed and accurate recording of
their exact place of discovery, is to ensure that spatial associations are preserved, if only on
paper, and that the behavioral meaning of those associations can be deduced.
• Excavation Units: The individual analytical field unit at an archaeological site. Excavation units
are often called “squares” because that is their form; often 2 meters on a side, but they can be 1
meter squares, 6 foot squares, or any other size, and they dont even have to be squares.
Excavating in regularly sized and spaced units allows for site excavation in manageable bites
and makes it easier for the principal investigator- and everyone else- to keep track of where
items were found.
• Datum: The origin or 0, 0, location of a site grid.Asite grid is analogous to a giant piece of
graph paper superimposed over a site. Datum is the origin of this imaginary piece of graph
paper, and excavation units- and, ultimately, everything recovered at a site- are defined and
located in reference to this point.
• Universal Transverse Mercator:Ametric mapping and measurement system. The earth is
divided into 60 numbered north-south zones, each zone representing 6 degrees of the 360
degree, circular earth when viewed from above the North Pole. Measurements of the precise
location of any point within a zone are expressed in metric units. The boundaries of an
archaeological site are often expressed using this system.
• Provenience: The precisely measured, three-dimensional, in situ location of an artifact, ecofact,
or feature at an archaeological site. This may be recorded as a single point for a very small
object or as a series of points for