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SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: extensive excavation, open excavation, open-area excavation CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: A method of excavation in which the full horizontal extent of a site is cleared and large areas are open while preserving a in the balks between large squares. This method is often used to uncover houses and prehistoric settlement patterns.
Area excavation involves the opening up of large horizontal areas for excavation, used especially where single period deposits lie close to the surface.
Removal of the topsoil will either be carried out by hand or machine.
After an initial plan has been made of all visible features before excavation, digging proceeds according to the dictates of the site: sections may be taken across areas of feature intersection, or across individual features.
On multi-period sites, however, it calls for much more meticulous recording since the stratigraphy is revealed one layer at a time.
CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: The systematic and scientific recovery of cultural, material remains of people as a means of obtaining data about past human activity.
A permanent record of the whole process should be kept: plans, drawings, notes, photographs. For years, excavation was regarded as merely a method of collecting artifacts.
It is the excavation of as large an area as possible without the intervention of balks and a grid system.
If time and/or money is short, sampling of the site may be all that is possible.If a large-scale excavation is to be undertaken, the approach will be either area (open) excavation, grid method, , rabotage, sondage, etc.