Archaeological Field Methods

Basic Introduction edit

Archaeology is a vast subject area, but this page aims to give an overview on the practical field methods in archaeology. It is hoped that it will become a handbook for archaeologists.

What is archaeology? edit

Archaeology has been defined as the "study of The word archaeology comes from ancient Greek, meaning "the study of the beginning."

What are field archaeology methods? edit

Introduction to non evasive archeological surveying. This involves the use of a magnetometer which test the conductivity of an area. Spikes from the lower end of you're base line typically indicate that you have found an archeological site and is a good place to begin your search. For instance say you have a general base line at 50 miligaughs and either gradually or all at once it jumps to 100 chances are you just found a habitation site from possibly 30 years ago or who knows maybe 30,000 ybp. This is where you begin other field tactics.

General approaches to project management edit

How to identify an archaeological site and understand site formation edit

Field methods edit

Primary and secondary sources edit

Desk top survey edit

Aerial photography edit

Ground survey methods edit

Methods of recording archaeological sites edit

Project management and Planning excavation edit

In archaeological excavation English Heritage produced a model of scientific management which is referred to as Management of Archaeological Projects MAP. This document gives the archaeologist clearly defined phases to follow in the organisation of their excavation work. There are five phases: Phase 1 Project Planning Phase 2 Fieldwork Phase 3 Assessment of potential for analysis Phase 4 Analysis and report preparation Phase 5 Dissemination Reference Andrews, G 1991 Management of archaeological projects, London, English Heritage.

Health and safety edit

Staff and equipment edit

Excavation of site edit

Recording excavation site edit

The Harris Matrix edit

Recording finds edit

Post-excavation work edit

Drewett P.L, 1999, Field Archaeology: An Introduction, UCL Press Gamble C, 2004, Archaeology: The Basics, Routledge.

External Links edit