- Slides: 10
The Archaeological Dig
What is Archaeology? • Archaeological fieldwork is not the romantic treasure hunt sometimes seen in the movies. • Archaeology is a blend of scientific disciplines requiring methodological attention to procedure and detail.
What is Archaeology? • It is …. the scientific study of material remains (as fossil relics, artefacts, and monuments) of past human life and activities • : remains of the culture of a people : ANTIQUITIES • DISCOVERY OF “ARTEFACTS” FROM THE LATIN “MADE WITH SKILL”
Five Stages of Archaeology Step One: Make a Plan • Archaeologists must have a clear reason and plan, called a research design, for excavating a site before they put a shovel in the ground. They must be able to answer these questions: • Why are we excavating the site? • What questions do we want to answer? • How will we conduct the excavations? • How will we analyze the artifacts? • Do I have enough time and money to write a report?
Step 2: Setting out a Grid • Archaeologists begin all excavations by creating a measured grid across the area that will be studied. • The grid helps them keep track of where they dig test units and where they find artefacts. Every artefact and feature on an archaeological site has a precise horizontal (side to side) and vertical (up and down ) location that is recorded.
Step Three: Excavating Units • Archaeologists excavate units to uncover features and to recover artefacts left behind at the site. • Excavation units usually are one-by-one meter or two-by-two meter squares or one-by-two meter rectangles. Archaeologists use shovels, trowels, spoons, whisk brooms, and dental picks to carefully remove the unit soil.
Step Three: Excavating Units cont… • The units are dug in layers, generally about four inches thick. • Artefacts found in the lowest levels usually are older than ones found in the higher layers. • Carbon dating is used to estimate the age of artefacts from Ancient times
Step Four: Identifying Artefacts • When excavators find artefacts, they place them in acid free plastic bags labelled with the site number, excavation unit and level number, feature number, date, and the name of the excavator. • Artefacts in each of these groups are separated again by distinguishing characteristics such as colour, size, function, and decoration.
Step Five: What Does It All Mean? • The most important part of archaeological work is the analysis and report writing. • Archaeologists analyse the data to try to answer the questions they set out in their research design. They present their ideas and conclusions • • • What is archaeology? by Scmoop (1 min in to 3 min mark) (Vlc saved) http: //www. youtube. com/watch? v=qal. TJzk 4 k. O 0 http: //www. youtube. com/watch? v=w. R 1 Ij. OVWI 7 Y (E. g Dig in UK)
Watch the First video and answer the following • What is an excavation? • What is an artifact? • What are some examples of artefacts that do not need to be excavated? (Give 3 e. g. s) • Why is archeology important today? • What factors has archeology helped us understand? ‘Ancient R……. . ’ ; Daily R……. . S and how M………. , T…………y has evolved