Survey and Excavation of Sites and Features - Flashcards

  1. Research design
    Systematic planning of archaeological research, usually including (1) the formulation of a strategy to resolve a particular question; (2) the collection and recording of the evidence; (3) the processing and analysis of these data and their interpretation; and (4) the publication of results.

    (Chapter 3 p. 73)
  2. Ground reconnaissance
    A collective name for a wide variety of methods for identifying individual archaeological sites, including consultation of documentary sources, place-name evidence, local folklore, and legend, but primarily actual fieldwork.

    (Chapter 3 p. 74)
  3. Salvage archaeology
    The location and recording (usually through excavation) of archaeological sites in advance of highway construction, drainage projects, or urban development.

    (Chapter 3 p. 75)
  4. Reconnaissance survey
    A broad range of techniques involved in the location of archaeological sites, e.g. the recording of surface artifacts and features, and the sampling of natural and mineral resources.

    (Chapter 3 p. 77)
  5. Non-probabilistic sampling
    A non-statistical sampling strategy (in contrast to probabilistic sampling ) which concentrates on sampling areas on the basis of intuition, historical documentation, or long field experience in the area.

    (Chapter 3 pp. 80-1)
  6. Simple random sampling
    A type of probabilistic sampling where the areas to be sampled are chosen using a table of random numbers. Drawbacks include (1) defining the site's boundaries initially; (2) the nature of random number tables results in some areas being allotted clusters of sample squares, while others remain untouched.

    (Chapter 3 pp. 80-1)
  7. Probabilistic sampling
    Sampling method, using probability theory, designed to draw reliable general conclusions about a site or region, based on small sample regions.

    (Chapter 3 pp. 80-1)
  8. Stratified random sampling
    A form of probabilistic sampling in which the region or site is divided into natural zones or strata such as cultivated land and forest; units are then chosen by a random number procedure so as to give each zone a number of squares proportional to its area, thus overcoming the inherent bias in simple random sampling.

    (Chapter 3 pp. 80-1)
  9. Systematic sampling
    A form of probabilistic sampling employing a grid of equally spaced locations; e.g. selecting every other square. This method of regular spacing runs the risk of missing (or hitting) every single example if the distribution itself is regularly spaced.

    (Chapter 3 pp. 80-1)
  10. Earthworks
    A term used to describe banks and associated ditches, or stone-walled features - in fact, any feature that can be seen in relief from the air.

    (Chapter 3 pp. 84-5)
  11. SLAR (sideways-looking airborne radar)
    A remote sensing technique that involves the recording in radar images of the return of pulses of electromagnetic radiation sent out from aircraft (cf. thermography).

    (Chapter 3 p. 89-90)
  12. GIS
    GIS are software-based systems designed for the collection, organizing, storage, retrieval, analysis, and displaying of spatial/digital geographical data held in different "layers".

    (Chapter 3 p. 91)
  13. Standing-wave technique
    An acoustic method, similar to bosing , used in subsurface detection.

    (Chapter 3 p. 99)
  14. Magnetometer
    A device used in subsurface detection which records variation in the earth's magnetic field.

    (Chapter 3 p. 104)
  15. Bosing
    A subsurface detection method performed by striking the ground with a heavy wooden mallet or a lead-filled container on a long handle.

    (Chapter 3 p. 99)
  16. Remote sensing
    The imaging of phenomena from a distance, primarily through airborne and satellite imaging. "Groundbased remote sensing" links geophysical methods such as radar with remote sensing methods applied at ground level, such as thermography.

    (Chapter 3 p. 89)
  17. Earth Resistance Survey
    A method of subsurface detection which measures changes in conductivity by passing electrical current through ground soils. This is generally a consequence of moisture content, and in this way, buried features can be detected by differential retention of groundwater.

    (Chapter 3 p. 101)
  18. Probes
    A traditional technique of subsurface detection that involves probing the soil with rods or borers, and noting the position where they strike solids or hollows.

    (Chapter 3 p. 97)
  19. GPR
    A method of subsurface detection in which short radio pulses are sent through the soil, such that the echoes reflect back significant changes in soil conditions.

    (Chapter 3 p. 100)
  20. Electrical resistivity
    A method of subsurface detection which derives from the principle that the damper the soil the more easily it will conduct electricity. A resistivity meter attached to electrodes in the ground can thus measure varying degrees of subsurface resistance to a current passed between the electrodes.

    (Chapter 3 p. 101)
  21. Fluxgate magnetometer
    A type of magnetometer used in subsurface detection, producing a continuous reading.

    (Chapter 3 p. 104)
  22. Metal detectors
    Electromagnetic devices helpful in detecting buried remains. An alternating magnetic field is generated by passing an electrical current through a transmitter coil. Buried metal objects distort this field and are detected as a result of an electrical signal picked up by a receiver coil.

    (Chapter 3 p. 105)
  23. Thermography
    A technique which uses thermal or heat sensors in aircraft to record the temperature of the soil surface. Variations in soil temperature can be the result of the presence of buried structures.

    (Chapter 3 p. 105)
  24. Geochemical analysis
    The investigatory technique which involves taking soil samples at regular intervals from the surface of a site, and measuring their phosphate content and other chemical properties.

    (Chapter 3 p. 105)
  25. Dowsing
    The supposed location of subsurface features by employing a twig, copper rod, pendulum, or other instrument; discontinuous movements in these instruments are believed by some to record the existence of buried features.

    (Chapter 3 p. 105)
  26. Excavation
    The principal method of data acquisition in archaeology, involving the systematic uncovering of archaeological remains through the removal of the deposits of soil and the other material covering them and accompanying them.

    (Chapter 3 p. 107)
  27. Wheeler box-grid
    An excavation technique developed by Mortimer Wheeler from the work of Pitt-Rivers, involving retaining intact baulks of earth between excavation grid squares, so that different layers can be correlated across the site in the vertical profiles.

    (Chapter 3 p. 112)
  28. Open-area excavation
    The opening up of large horizontal areas for excavation , used especially where single period deposits lie close to the surface as, for example, with the remains of American Indian or European Neolithic long houses.

    (Chapter 3 p. 112)
  29. Step-trenching
    Excavation method used on very deep sites, such as Near Eastern tell sites, in which the excavation proceeds downwards in a series of gradually narrowing steps.

    (Chapter 3 p. 113)
  30. Attributes
    A minimal characteristic of an artifact such that it cannot be further subdivided; attributes commonly studied include aspects of form, style, decoration, color, and raw material.

    (Chapter 3 p. 119)
  31. Artifacts
    Any portable object used, modified, or made by humans; e.g. stone tools, pottery, and metal weapons.

    (Chapter 3 p. 119)
  32. Assemblages
    A group of artifacts recurring together at a particular time and place, and representing the sum of human activities.

    (Chapter 3 p. 119)
  33. Typology
    The systematic organization of artifacts into types on the basis of shared attributes.

    (Chapter 3 p. 119)
  34. Archaeological cultures
    Constantly recurring assemblages of artifacts assumed to be representative of particular sets of behavioral activities carried out at a particular time and place.

    (Chapter 3 p. 119)
Card Set
Survey and Excavation of Sites and Features - Flashcards
From Archaeology: Theories, Methods and Practice (4th edition), 2006, Renfrew and Bahn, Thames & Hudson