What are the advantages of archaeology? Once these early archaeological deposits have been uncovered, the site is ready for the full excavation. Archaeologists Travel a Lot You'll gain a lot of stamps in your passport as an archaeologist. And today in keeping with the new approach we are seeing the increased use of area or horizontal excavation in order to provide context. 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. Again resistivity can help pinpoint areas for excavation. For example it is difficult to tell elevation, age, scale, purpose, sequence and most fundamentally it only records that which is physically visible on the surface. This is due largely to the legal or planning framework and the fact that the developer more often has to pay for the work. Generally they are an efficient way but care needs to be taken with external influences such as power lines. Vertical views can provide a quick overview or mapping capability which is important for context. As a rough guide, a 'cut' refers to something that was dug 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. 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. Imogen Burrell. The relative age of a given layer is determined by its relationship to the layers above and below it. Aerial photography needs to be assisted by other techniques. 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. But it may ultimately be the best technique the archaeologist currently has. Yet when it is used excavation is much more intensively employed. Excavation alone cannot answer all these questions. For example, excavating an aboveground tomb complex requires somewhat different strategies than a long-buried underground domicile. The Wheeler–Kenyon system involves digging within a series of squares that can vary in size set within a larger grid. Truly great excavators leave such a fine record of their digs that subsequent archaeologists can re-create and reinterpret what they saw and found. A case study on the Roman town of Wroxeter quoted by Renfew and Bahn uses all these techniques (7). can tell us about times long before written records. With GIS physical, human and natural activity can be overlaid on the environment. Archaeologists create accurate maps and scale drawings of surface features across the site before conducting full site excavation. The first step in an archaeological excavation is surveying the area. In common with all major infrastructure … One of the main advantages of the open cut sewer exaction method is that it’s cheaper to implement in non-pavement areas. It is then possible to map subsurface features without any form of excavation. In turn, the stratigraphic sequence plays a key role in working out the site's chronology. 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. And such techniques have great validity in underwater work. Methods. So we may have a good visual record of the last occupation but what of previous ones. In vertical excavation, the archeologi… As Renfrew and Bahn comment “this technique works particularly well for ditches and pits in chalk and gravel”(5). That is not to say that the criticality of excavation has diminished within Archaeology. When an archeologist documents a find, he/she considers both vertical and horizontal relationships. If that is the case I would suggest that Archaeology: is less prone to bias than written records. Show some respect – The dangers of underwater Archaeology. There is a realisation today that part of archaeology’s role is to ensure that good records and documentation is kept. Underwater archaeology has a double advantage. 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. As Renfrew and Bahn surmise “Today archaeologists study whole regions”. 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). Excavations differ depending on the remains in question. Archaeology permits intensive study of a single culture over time, removing the myth of an unchanging tra-ditional past. Engaged Archaeology. Excavation has served archaeology well and it is the public’s perception of the role of archaeology. 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. The ability to determine more, from fewer samples again suggests that less excavation is required. But clearly it usually requires that a hypothesis is being tested as each technique has its own advantages and disadvantages. 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. 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. This can be done either with remote sensing or direct visual observation. More sophisticated images from specialised films such as infrared, radar mapping and radiation signals can provide insights into structures and spatial networks. Resistivity measures electrical resistance and is based on the relative electrical conduction capability of various materials. 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. One of the principal trends in Mediterranean archaeology is the study of human interaction with the landscape through time. Technically, this is known as the … Archaeology has two of the greatest advantages. 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 … 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. 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. 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. Given such a broad approach Archaeology needs a structured research process. 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. This leads to robust project control processes both during the overall project and particularly during excavation. Vertical relationships may yield information about the cultural history of the site, and horizontal relationships, about the way the site was used. And for some, excavation can have legal issues in terms of access to the site, time spent on the site and ways of working. Experimental archaeology is as old as Archaeology itself. As Greene states “field work today is rarely directed at a single site. They are not themselves, strictly speaking, archaeological facts: they are the excavator’s interpretation of what he saw, or thought he saw, but this is the nearest the discipline can ever get to archaeological facts as established by excavation. ... Each square is suitable for excavation by two or three people. Photographs have two purposes. We have seen a change in excavation techniques that reflect changes in thought. 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 And answering these how and why questions implies a much broader scope of work. For the Public. Moreover these operational difficulties are compounded by the capability of other techniques to contribute much to the research process. This again reduces the reliance upon excavation as a primary analytical tool. 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. 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 See Rules 26 and 27. There are many ways to view the sub surface. Excavation provides vertical and horizontal analysis that may otherwise over looked. So how can we best explore below the surface. So far we have commented up the pros and cons of a variety of survey techniques. 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. Sound waves such as sonar have been used to detect tombs in the Valley of the Kings and thereby avoid unnecessary exploratory excavation. It can reveal several types of information usually not accessible to survey, such as stratigraphy , three-dimensional structure, and verifiably primary context. Survey. It is also immensely expensive. Coles describes 16th century examples as: “any honest effort to understand ancient artifacts by actually working with them” (Coles, 1979, pp.11-12). Simply put it would appear we don’t need to do as much excavation as we used to get the same results. Today, excavation is probably what archaeologists do the least. 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. 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. So excavation is not without it’s difficulties. This radar not only detects variation in the composition of the soil which might indicate filled ditches or graves but can also indicate the depth at which variation occurs. Most often sites are known about and identified through research sources and checked by a surface visit. Now, most of this work can be done with a technique called photogrammetry. Geophysics helps with detailing and focusing of subsequent work. No longer is the emphasis simply upon the acquisition of material culture or artefacts. Issues remain in the ability of individuals who have varying capacity to identify objects, the impact of the natural environment on material culture and the walking resources required. %PDF-1.3 %���� A brief guide to the history of the written word. It is impossible to ask valid questions about an individual site without understanding its place in the historical and natural environment”(10). Once located site analysis begins through some form of ground or surface reconnaissance. g`�9���v7a��&. 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. Indeed, Bahn quotes examples in Egypt and Italy where items are reburied in the ground simply because the museums are too full, theft may be ripe, preservation difficult and documentation slow. 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. Today, the removal of artifacts requires that the spatial relationships and context in which they are found be fully documented. 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