As a definition, excavation is simply the controlled exploration of what lies below the surface, usually carried out systematically in gridded trenches with shovel and trowel. … Through the process of excavation, archaeologists look backwards into time, examining an area at discrete temporal periods.
What is the process of excavation?
Excavation is the process of moving earth, rock or other materials with tools, equipment or explosives. It includes earthwork, trenching, wall shafts, tunneling and underground. … Some of the different processes used in excavation include trenching, digging, dredging and site development.
How are archaeological excavations conducted?
Archaeologists use a statistical sampling method to select which squares or units they will excavate. To begin, they will collect surface artifacts, then remove any ground vegetation. Archaeologists screen all soil removed from a unit to recover small artifacts and ecofacts.
Why excavations occur and how they are completed?
Most important excavations are the result of a prepared plan—that is to say, their purpose is to locate buried evidence about an archaeological site. … Emergency excavations then have to be mounted to rescue whatever knowledge of the past can be obtained before these remains are obliterated forever.
What are the steps of the archaeological process from start to end?
- Selecting the Site.
- Conducting Research.
- Excavating the Site.
- Cleaning and Cataloguing Artifacts.
What are the 3 types of excavation?
Types of Excavation
- Earth excavation is removal of the layer of soil immediately under the topsoil and on top of rock. …
- Muck excavation is removal of material that contains an excessive amount of water and undesirable soil. …
- Unclassified excavation is removal of any combination of topsoil, earth, rock, and muck.
What are the three methods of excavation?
Types of excavation
- 3.1 Cut and fill excavation.
- 3.2 Trench excavation.
- 3.3 Basement excavation.
- 3.4 Road excavation.
- 3.5 Bridge excavation.
- 3.6 Dredging.
- 3.7 Over excavation.
What are the three basic stages of an archaeological study?
Generally speaking, most archaeological field investigations are a three-step process. These processes are known as Phase I (Identification), Phase II (Evaluation) and Phase III (Mitigation/Data Recovery).
Can archaeologists keep what they find?
Archaeologists do not keep the objects they excavate, since the remains generally belong to the country in which they are found. Archaeologists are only interested in studying the objects and do not keep or sell them.
What are two ways in which archaeologists identify sites for planned archaeological excavations?
How do archaeologists find sites?
- Survey. In simplest terms, survey entails walking across a landscape and looking for artifacts. …
- Reading Books. …
- SCIENCE with a capital S. …
- Making Maps. …
- Talking to people.
How do you select a site for excavation?
Techniques used to find a site may include remote sensing (for example, by aerial photography), soil surveys, and walk-through or surface surveys. The digging of shovel tests, augured core samples and, less commonly, trenches may also be used to locate archaeological sites.
Why is Archaeology important today?
Understanding patterns and changes in human behavior enhances our knowledge of the past. It aids us in planning, not only our future, but for generations to come. Many people believe that public archaeology is critical to understanding, protecting, and celebrating our rich and diverse cultural heritage.
How is excavation helpful in learning history?
Archaeologists use special techniques and equipment to gather their evidence precisely and accurately. They must keep detailed records of their findings. This is an extremely vital activity. Once an excavation begins, it digs into — and digs past — many layers of structures.
Do archaeologists travel?
Do Archaeologists Travel? … Archaeologists whose research areas are not near where they live may travel to conduct surveys, excavations, and laboratory analyses. Many archaeologists, however, do not travel that much. This is true for some jobs in federal and state government, museums, parks and historic sites.
Why does archeology get buried?
Humans steal the best bits to reuse in other buildings, and erosion wears everything else to dust. So the only ancient ruins we find are the ones that were buried. But they got buried in the first place because the ground level of ancient cities tended to steadily rise.
Why do archaeologists dig test pits?
Shovel Test Pits, or STPs, are a way for archaeologists to cover a large area quickly. STPs are minimally invasive, meaning that they do not disturb a lot of ground, yet provide enough data for us to determine how viable an area is for further archaeological testing.