Archaeological Field Methods

Basic IntroductionEdit

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 you"re 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 managementEdit

How to identify an archaeological site and understand site formationEdit

Field methodsEdit

Primary and secondary sourcesEdit

Desk top surveyEdit

Aerial photographyEdit

Ground survey methodsEdit

Methods of recording archaeological sitesEdit

Project management and Planning excavationEdit

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 safetyEdit

Staff and equipmentEdit

Excavation of siteEdit

Recording excavation siteEdit

The Harris MatrixEdit

Recording findsEdit

Post-excavation workEdit

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

External LinksEdit