advantages of archaeological excavation

Excavation involves the destruction of the site, so the objective is attained when enough information is produced for the site to be subsequently reconstructed. More lately increasing excavation costs and disruption concerns encouraged keyhole excavation. Again this reduces the requirement for extensive excavation. But only 1% of the nearly 200 acre site has been excavated. Proposition 1: Archaeology as the study of past cultures Archaeological cultures (pre-history) Assemblages and cultures The problem of Analogy The Comparative Project … It is after all a very destructive process. So for both theoretical reasons and practical reasons described above the acquisition of material culture through excavation is no longer the main driving force. The principle benefit being that the damper the soil the less resistance it will show to an electrical current. The archaeological benefits of roadwork developments in Scotland is the subject of a new Masters by Research (MRes) project funded by Transport Scotland.. The excavation of burial or culturally important sites is fraught with access issues. This approach can cover large areas which is useful in “regional” analysis and where evidence is likely to be more scattered due to migratory or hunter gather type activity. Once located site analysis begins through some form of ground or surface reconnaissance. Advantages: Archeology has been helping us to understand and to develop our understanding of the culture and life our ancestors for generations. The ability to determine more, from fewer samples again suggests that less excavation is required. Archaeology has two of the greatest advantages. What is less well understood by the general public is that there have been a number of trends which have further contributed to the diminishment of excavation as an activity. Where excavation is most often employed today is in rescue archaeology. Excavation also helps with chronological analysis by helping to identify changes in use over time and distinguishing between different layers of development. It is essentially this phase that distinguishes an archaeological excavation from the pure underwater recovery of ancient artefacts. In contrast to the survey's broad outlook, the excavation focuses on the individual site. Moreover, more often than not the balance of effort now rests with the specialist analysers such as pollen experts and dating analysis rather than the excavators. Answering questions about the organisation of societies, the environment, and the trading contacts employed, their thought processes and their diet have a much greater importance today. Furthermore, Archaeology itself has changed in a number of ways. They continue “the relationship between surface and subsurface is undoubtedly complex ands varies from site to site and it is therefore wise to determine what really is below the ground (4)”. Today, excavation is probably what archaeologists do the least. Once these early archaeological deposits have been uncovered, the site is ready for the full excavation. Excavation should be the last resort as it involves irreversible physical intervention” (11). Thus it is very useful in pre-historic and not so in Roman and beyond. Excavation has served archaeology well and it is the public’s perception of the role of archaeology. And given archaeology’s requirement for context, aerial photographs provide a very valuable asset. Truly great excavators leave such a fine record of their digs that subsequent archaeologists can re-create and reinterpret what they saw and found. Field Investigation – Stage 2 Excavation. Archaeological excavation existed even when the field was still the domain of amateurs, and it remains the source of the majority of data recovered in most field projects. For example, excavating an aboveground tomb complex requires somewhat different strategies than a long-buried underground domicile. What are non-intrusive archaeological survey techniques, and how are they used to archaeological advantages during excavation. And such techniques have great validity in underwater work. This leads to robust project control processes both during the overall project and particularly during excavation. The Role of Geographical Information Systems and Documentation In turn, the stratigraphic sequence plays a key role in working out the site's chronology. There is a vast amount of testing done in even one season of excavation at large sites. Magnetometers are good for cut features and work best in pre-historic sites and were used successfully in analysing the route of the M3 motorway. And answering these how and why questions implies a much broader scope of work. These might include research on word of mouth, family history, original research, local history, place names, records of activity, register of sites and even by accident. 47 0 obj << /Linearized 1 /O 50 /H [ 1036 376 ] /L 442059 /E 380361 /N 7 /T 441001 >> endobj xref 47 23 0000000016 00000 n 0000000824 00000 n 0000000897 00000 n 0000001412 00000 n 0000001581 00000 n 0000001782 00000 n 0000002004 00000 n 0000002781 00000 n 0000003564 00000 n 0000003603 00000 n 0000003817 00000 n 0000004666 00000 n 0000007437 00000 n 0000007661 00000 n 0000008511 00000 n 0000009293 00000 n 0000009315 00000 n 0000009454 00000 n 0000025624 00000 n 0000346967 00000 n 0000363165 00000 n 0000001036 00000 n 0000001391 00000 n trailer << /Size 70 /Info 46 0 R /Encrypt 49 0 R /Root 48 0 R /Prev 440991 /ID[<73e9f980a8600723ad6ce1299bbc8734><73e9f980a8600723ad6ce1299bbc8734>] >> startxref 0 %%EOF 48 0 obj << /Type /Catalog /Pages 45 0 R /Outlines 29 0 R >> endobj 49 0 obj << /Filter /Standard /R 2 /O ( U�V�.�`�����Dz�-���#_m�_�}�g) /U (������oo7��l"��b�w� se}?Ղ�) /P -28 /V 1 >> endobj 68 0 obj << /S 204 /T 284 /O 335 /Filter /FlateDecode /Length 69 0 R >> stream This requires human skill and computer speed. Despite volunteers excavation is highly labour intensive and therefore expensive in terms of costs such as labour, equipment, travel, measuring and monitoring equipment and accommodation. Patterns can be established and resource requirements calculated. Oxford p 12, 2)Greene, K, Archaeology An Introduction (Routledge 2001) p38, 3)Renfrew & Bahn, Archaeology: Theories, Methods and Practice, Thames & Hudson p 116, 4)Renfrew & Bahn, Archaeology: Theories, Methods and Practice, Thames & Hudson p 92, 5)Renfrew & Bahn, Archaeology: Theories, Methods and Practice, Thanes & Hudson p 99, 7) Renfrew & Bahn, Archaeology: Theories, Methods and Practice, Thames & Hudson p 100, 8)Greene, K, Archaeology An Introduction (Routledge 2001) p 77, 10) Greene, K, Archaeology An Introduction (Routledge 2001) p 45, 11)Renfrew & Bahn, Archaeology: Theories, Methods and Practice, Thames & Hudson p 116. Excavation provides vertical and horizontal analysis that may otherwise over looked. As the questions currently posed by Archaeologists tend to be more ‘strategic’ the focus of the field work is also of a strategic nature. When an archeologist documents a find, he/she considers both vertical and horizontal relationships. Resistivity measures electrical resistance and is based on the relative electrical conduction capability of various materials. Moundville Engraved Bottle by RLA Archaeology on Sketchfab. It is only through excavation that hypotheses can be tested. Engaged Archaeology. As Greene states “field work today is rarely directed at a single site. Archaeology permits intensive study of a single culture over time, removing the myth of an unchanging tra-ditional past. For the Public. It has the unique capability of stretching back to the remotest eras of human existence and drawing the … They are not themselves, strictly speaking, archaeological facts: they are the excavators’ interpretations of what they saw, or thought they saw, but this is the nearest the discipline can ever get to archaeological facts as established by excavation. As one digs down through the layers at a site, there is the opportunity to document the stratigraphy of the site. As technology improves we are able to undertake a wide variety of analysis from microscopic, radio carbon dating or even DNA samples. Methods. This again reduces the reliance upon excavation as a primary analytical tool. As Renfrew and Bahn comment “now that surface survey has become not merely a preliminary to excavation but in some instances a substitute for it … a vigorous debate is taking place….about how far surface traces do in fact reflect distributions below ground. 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