Second, the sites – namely, the sunken ships or boats – can be difficult to reach by all but experienced … 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. Excavation provides vertical and horizontal analysis that may otherwise over looked. For example, more detailed work in the formulation part can focus lines of enquiry into a specific area and thereby again reduce the amount of excavation required. And today in keeping with the new approach we are seeing the increased use of area or horizontal excavation in order to provide context. 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. Excavation alone cannot answer all these questions. Excavation involves the destruction of the site, so the objective is attained when enough information is produced for the site to be subsequently reconstructed. The work is incredibly meticulous… Secondly, we are acquiring vastly increased quantities of materials and we can learn far more from what we have (1).” The conclusions to be drawn from this would appear to be contradictory. By understanding the goals of archaeological research, students discover that their actions can influence the future, and impact both environment and society. It is impossible to ask valid questions about an individual site without understanding its place in the historical and natural environment”(10). In common with all major infrastructure … 1)Bahn P, Archaeology, A very short introduction. Ongoing research excavation also allows the training and progress new strategies, without which often such expertise would be sacrificed, preventing near future … burrellimogen [at] hotmail.co.uk. And such techniques have great validity in underwater work. Sound waves such as sonar have been used to detect tombs in the Valley of the Kings and thereby avoid unnecessary exploratory excavation. Field walking can be random and or sample based but invariably has some form of structure such as transects to facilitate recording. There is a realisation today that part of archaeology’s role is to ensure that good records and documentation is kept. 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. Most people are wrong. Probes have been employed involving rods and augers at the end of which may be attached lights and cameras. The principle benefit being that the damper the soil the less resistance it will show to an electrical current. We can therefore generate three dimensional maps and time slice the soil. Mapping archaeological digs takes plenty of time and a lot of measuring, photographing, drawing and note taking. Archaeologists create accurate maps and scale drawings of surface features across the site before conducting full site excavation. ��ɼ�����N/���I�"`Y:8���=Ku?�(�ue�X�-�IJԯ-� XI��b+�@�}�a}�l^�$�/J�3�z�-��U��{��fL@�`f� �Q�}���&�B��sv�%�C�=2� Archaeology has two of the greatest advantages. Archaeological excavation unearths evidence of turkey domestication 1,500 years ago Tumblr Archaeologists have unearthed a clutch of domesticated turkey eggs used as a ritual offering 1,500 years ago in Oaxaca, Mexico — some of the earliest evidence of turkey domestication. But it may ultimately be the best technique the archaeologist currently has. At the strategic level aerial and satellite photography and analysis is useful. As Renfrew and Bahn surmise “Today archaeologists study whole regions”. Underwater archaeology has a double advantage. Most often sites are known about and identified through research sources and checked by a surface visit. It is essential to place the role of excavation within context of a broader analytical process because excavation is just another tool in the archaeological kitbag. The availability of declassified photographs, the relative ease of obtaining such items and their power for analysis makes aerial study very attractive. �k?gQ�� q)��9��~���a�&x�|U�RW�1"�w�|��3��3� $c��={�F����@�85X�[b���aj.�@��$j��c��{y:[���H`�5@#�Xu�|Ko�6���A ��O�-栢r��3�V�/���+�Nk�0���!\M��7�x�C���^d��Y��E�xIuC�������g� M! As technology improves we are able to undertake a wide variety of analysis from microscopic, radio carbon dating or even DNA samples. Moreover raw material requires interpretation. It is essentially this phase that distinguishes an archaeological excavation from the pure underwater recovery of ancient artefacts. Methods. 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. What are the advantages of archaeology? One of the main advantages of the open cut sewer exaction method is that it’s cheaper to implement in non-pavement areas. This can help show how many possible layers of settlement there have been. The classic surface survey technique is field walking. As Renfrew and Bahn comment “this technique works particularly well for ditches and pits in chalk and gravel”(5). For example, excavating an aboveground tomb complex requires somewhat different strategies than a long-buried underground domicile. Whilst the purpose here is to view what is below the surface the work takes place on the surface so it has been included as a surface survey technique. Field Investigation – Stage 2 Excavation. Vertical views can provide a quick overview or mapping capability which is important for context. But clearly it usually requires that a hypothesis is being tested as each technique has its own advantages and disadvantages. In vertical excavation, the archeologi… That is not to say that the criticality of excavation has diminished within Archaeology. The technique can be slow and is best used when ditches and pits are being sought as opposed to walls. Fieldwork can take place anywhere around the world – and at anytime during the year. The Wheeler–Kenyon system involves digging within a series of squares that can vary in size set within a larger grid. And answering these how and why questions implies a much broader scope of work. Advantages: Archeology has been helping us to understand and to develop our understanding of the culture and life our ancestors for generations. Generally they are an efficient way but care needs to be taken with external influences such as power lines. Such techniques have been used successfully by Hurst Thomas in the USA, Lerici in search of Etruscan tombs and work on the Pyramids. The emergence of processual archaeology under Binford and others again moved archaeology towards broader concepts of explanation, process, deduction, hypothesis testing, question setting and response. The Role of Geographical Information Systems and Documentation Simply put it would appear we don’t need to do as much excavation as we used to get the same results. This can be hugely useful in pinpointing where to excavate or indeed whether there is any thing to excavate. Archaeology is destruction. Many archaeological sites are surveyed by measuring from a grid enclosing the site. We have seen a change in excavation techniques that reflect changes in thought. Archaeologists conducting a survey Chapman’s work at Gatas is evidence of this where sizeable progress reports are required to renew permits for the following year (6). In turn, the stratigraphic sequence plays a key role in working out the site's chronology. By identifying the locations of postholes, for example, they can help survey and direct subsequent excavation. Improvements in technology and methods has allowed archaeologists to know so much more than what was possible in previous generations. Excavations differ depending on the remains in question. archaeological advantages during excavation Imogen Burrell1 1Department of Archaeology, School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Sciences (SAGES), University of Reading, Reading, RG6 6AH Email: burrellimogen@hotmail.co.uk There are a variety of non-intrusive archaeological survey techniques available to archaeologists which Early results from the excavations by the University of Cincinnati show that this movement of people and material made an important impact on the livelihoods of the town’s local inhabitants; new foods were consumed, new cultural customs were adopted, and new ideas in architecture were developed. Coles describes 16th century examples as: “any honest effort to understand ancient artifacts by actually working with them” (Coles, 1979, pp.11-12). Again as most archaeology is public funded and requires reporting and presentations the resources available for extensive excavation are again reduced. The dualling of the A9 trunk road between Perth to Inverness has been hailed as one of the largest transport investments in Scotland’s history. It is just that operational difficulties with excavation, changes in approaches within Archaeology and advancement in technology such as improved surface survey techniques make excavation less extensively required. MRes archaeology student Asta Pavilionyte. The archaeological benefits of roadwork developments in Scotland is the subject of a new Masters by Research (MRes) project funded by Transport Scotland.. The appropriate use of the right geophysics tool can substantially aid an excavation strategy. It is after all a very destructive process. Items such as pottery, seeds, … So excavation is not without it’s difficulties. As such aerial photography is considered one of the most important archaeological developments in the 20th century and has contributed to a number of new finds and lines of enquiry. 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. Again resistivity can help pinpoint areas for excavation. Renfrew and Bahn agree “until the present century, individual sites were the main focus of archaeological attention and the only remote sensing devices were a pair of eyes and a stick. Whilst excavation is getting more expensive and thereby more difficult to undertake we are now able to do more analysis with less sampling. This requires human skill and computer speed. If that is the case I would suggest that Archaeology: is less prone to bias than written records. And despite advancements in new surface techniques, which are described later, the role of excavation within the research process was inevitably going to decline if only due to financial, environmental and cultural pressures. 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. Originally excavation, whether unplanned, in the form of grave robbing or curiosity, or planned, in the form of a structured approach was the main way in which evidence, knowledge and understanding could be acquired. Yet when it is used excavation is much more intensively employed. In contrast to the survey's broad outlook, the excavation focuses on the individual site. Archaeologists Travel a Lot You'll gain a lot of stamps in your passport as an archaeologist. Field work of this type is proving immensely useful in providing the broader context and is very cost effective. From aerial photography to sub surface radar much can be understood without resort to excavation. Overall landscapes, context, trading patterns and systems are more important than individual sites. Common Misconceptions Methods of Archaeology History of Archaeology Public Role in Archaeology References. This can be done either with remote sensing or direct visual observation. 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. Geophysics helps with detailing and focusing of subsequent work. A brief guide to the history of the written word. Survey. Where excavation is most often employed today is in rescue archaeology. can tell us about times long before written records. 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. This procedure is described by Renfrew and Bahn as research design. With GIS physical, human and natural activity can be overlaid on the environment. Proposition 1: Archaeology as the study of past cultures Archaeological cultures (pre-history) Assemblages and cultures The problem of Analogy The Comparative Project … None evasive approaches can use, echo sounding, electromagnetic magnetic, metal detectors, electrical resistivity, radioactivity, thermography, geochemical analysis and even dowsing. Moreover these operational difficulties are compounded by the capability of other techniques to contribute much to the research process. What are non-intrusive archaeological survey techniques, and how are they used to archaeological advantages during excavation. This helps to answer the hows and the whys of modern archaeology and again helps focus any follow up excavation work. Recent projects in Greece have recognized that the current state of the landscape has been affected both by human (an… The Wheeler–Kenyon method is a method of archaeological excavation. So excavation is good and in many ways the final technique to turn to. A case study on the Roman town of Wroxeter quoted by Renfew and Bahn uses all these techniques (7). So far we have commented up the pros and cons of a variety of survey techniques. This leads to robust project control processes both during the overall project and particularly during excavation. As a rough guide, a 'cut' refers to something that was dug It is only through excavation that hypotheses can be tested. It’s very easy to implement in an unpaved ground. So once again we can see the need for excavation as a means of acquiring material culture is declining. As Bahn puts it “there have been two major trends over time; first, excavation has become far slower and more painstaking…. But only 1% of the nearly 200 acre site has been excavated. Continued research excavation at famous sites such as Sutton Hoo, as Rahtz notes (1991, 140-41), is justified since it serves avowedly to develop archaeological practice itself; the physical remains, or shapes in the landscape can be and are restored to their former appearance with the bonus of being better understood, more educational and interesting; such exotic and special sites capture the imagination of the public and the media … And given archaeology’s requirement for context, aerial photographs provide a very valuable asset. Aerial photography needs to be assisted by other techniques. %PDF-1.3 %���� Research design has four components, namely; formulation, the collection and recording, processing and analysis and publication. Archaeology has changed in other ways. Excavation is the only way to acquire ephemeral and environmental evidence. Photographs have two purposes. Many sites have excavation programmes that run over decades. Home. Today, excavation is probably what archaeologists do the least. Moreover in response to concerns we have seen changes in the way excavation is carried out. “Digging” as Greene suggests ” still delivers an unmatched quality of evidence” (8). Resistivity measures electrical resistance and is based on the relative electrical conduction capability of various materials. We have stated that excavation has difficulties due to cost, time and access. Furthermore, Archaeology itself has changed in a number of ways. Yet there are problems with excavation as an approach. They continue “the focus has broadened to take in whole landscapes and a surface survey at sites in addition to – or instead of – excavation (3).” So once more the reliance upon excavation as a primary tool is diminished. It can reveal several types of information usually not accessible to survey, such as stratigraphy , three-dimensional structure, and verifiably primary context. Given such a broad approach Archaeology needs a structured research process. I assume you mean, as compared to other means of investigating the past. As one digs down through the layers at a site, there is the opportunity to document the stratigraphy of the site. Here, archaeologists are given a very limited amount of time to examine and rescue artefacts prior to some other construction programme, coastal erosion or perhaps a road building programme. Patterns can be established and resource requirements calculated. Two other techniques for non evasive surveys are use of a magnetometer and resistivity. By … No longer is the emphasis simply upon the acquisition of material culture or artefacts. As the questions currently posed by Archaeologists tend to be more ‘strategic’ the focus of the field work is also of a strategic nature. More often than not it ends up destroying part of the very evidence that needs to be examined. And for some, excavation can have legal issues in terms of access to the site, time spent on the site and ways of working. Today, the removal of artifacts requires that the spatial relationships and context in which they are found be fully documented. First, water tends to act as something of a preservative, protecting wood and other perishable items. There are many ways to view the sub surface. Engaged Archaeology. Most archaeological excavations are recorded using the single context recording system, whereby every cut and fill of a feature, or layer, is issued a context number. There are also examples where permission has been denied due to religious influence, such as in Japan. This is due largely to the legal or planning framework and the fact that the developer more often has to pay for the work. While an artifact scatter exposed on the surface may be indicative of past activities, the formation processes that created that scatter are complex and difficult to understand. Show some respect – The dangers of underwater Archaeology. The technique draws its origins from the work of Mortimer Wheeler and Tessa Wheeler at Verulamium (1930–35), and was later refined by Kathleen Kenyon during her excavations at Jericho (1952–58). The really great excavators leave such a fine record of their digs that subsequent archaeologists can re-create and reinterpret what they saw and found. When an archeologist documents a find, he/she considers both vertical and horizontal relationships. The first step in an archaeological excavation is surveying the area. As such this requires different techniques. This line of fieldwork allows the archaeologist to plumb the depths of a given site in greater detail. Photographs taken from the correct oblique angle and with the right light can highlight shadows, crop marks, buildings, tracks and other infrastructure often imperceptible or confusing on the ground. 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)”. �N5��*—@>хk����~��_��wH1˵�}P�� %V�< So, again some of the requirements for extensive excavation have diminished through the advancement of other analytical techniques and not just surface survey techniques. Vertical relationships may yield information about the cultural history of the site, and horizontal relationships, about the way the site was used. Archaeology permits intensive study of a single culture over time, removing the myth of an unchanging tra-ditional past. g`�9���v7a��&. This essay seeks to review how changes not only in surface survey techniques but other pressures have changed the way excavation is used in archaeology today. Imogen Burrell. The issues are, why it has to be used and what is it used for? A Magnetometer measures the magnetic properties of the soil and highlights where iron oxide concentrates are higher. Department of Archaeology, School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Sciences (SAGES), University of Reading. More lately increasing excavation costs and disruption concerns encouraged keyhole excavation. 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 There are two basic types of context: cut, and fill/deposit. Greene concludes “proper research programmes are less exciting and more expensive than unplanned exploration, but their results allow much firmer conclusions to be reached about site distributions, settlement patterns and other features of the ancient landscape. The focus in the beginning was to find out more about the provenance of artefacts: were these man made or did these have a natural origin? Originally most excavation was brutal and vertical. As we have already mentioned more meticulous collection and recording can reduce the requirement to excavate and indeed revisiting and reinterpreting original notes can prove highly instructive. This realisation is based upon the fact that we may never be able to truly explain the past but by leaving good records of our work they are available for subsequent reinterpretation. In some cases excavation is the only way we can acquire the detailed evidence of smaller objects of material culture and read the story being told by the stratigraphy. Once these early archaeological deposits have been uncovered, the site is ready for the full excavation. See Rules 26 and 27. So how can we best explore below the surface. The ability to determine more, from fewer samples again suggests that less excavation is required. Most people assume that excavation is the archaeologists main concern. Our ability to investigate ancient landscapes and environments, without resorting to the destructive process of digging into sites, means that no excavation work should be carried out until a programme of field work and documentary research has been completed. And moreover it can be very time consuming. It is then possible to map subsurface features without any form of excavation. It explains that the excavation of a site without record of the associations of the artefacts with their structural levels and sequence of deposition will rob the cultural materials of much of the value they have as evidence of the society that created, used, and discarded them. This essay sets out to describe current concerns with excavation, analyse the modern approach to archaeology, discusses a wide range of alternative ‘surface’ exploration techniques, explores the limitations of each approach and concludes by placing excavation in the context of a 21st century approach to archaeology. 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. These tools need to be overlaid within the archaeological process. 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