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7: Excavation

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    Learning Objectives

    • Articulate why the decision to excavate must be related to a project’s research design.
    • Compare and contrast the goals and research potential of vertical and horizontal excavations.
    • Describe the role of the Pythagorean theorem in the excavation process.
    • Outline the typical process of excavation.

    • 7.1: Excavation Planning
      It is critical that nondestructive methods are used whenever possible and that excavation is used only when there is no other way to gather the data needed to accomplish the research goals. With this in mind, the first step in excavation is planning. Archaeologists must ensure that excavation proceeds in a controlled, methodical, and scientific manner. This allows for the preservation of the archaeological record through detailed recording of the data.
    • 7.2: Excavating
      When the excavation method has been selected, actual digging can begin. Archaeologists are systematic when they excavate since, as mentioned earlier, archaeological data cannot be renewed. At this point, archaeologists know where they are digging and what methods they will use to dig. The next decisions to be made are related to how they will dig.
    • 7.3: Chapter Seven Review
      Review important concepts and definitions of key terms.

    Image: Fieldwork Trowelling. (2006). By Wessex Archaeology under CC BY-NC-SA via flickr.

    7: Excavation is shared under a CC BY-NC-SA license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by LibreTexts.

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