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This excavation layout is designed to investigate a large area for a modest outlay of effort.
It has the disadvantage that no longitudinal section is available for study, only transverse ones, and that the site can never be seen in its entirety.
It is the excavation of as large an area as possible without the intervention of balks and a grid system.
This technique allows the recognition of much slighter traces of ancient structures than other methods.
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.
The first decision is whether to excavate a site at all, a question of particular interest when sites are being rapidly destroyed by farming methods and road and town building.
The nature and scale of the undertaking is the next decision.
Excavations have shown considerable variation in the layout of abbeys depending on the different monastic orders.
They range from beehive cells and oratories of Early Celtic abbeys to the Cistercian plan with cloisters, domestic ranges, and a large church.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: area excavation; open-area excavation, extensive excavation CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: The opening up of large horizontal areas for excavation, used especially where single period deposits lie close to the surface.
In this method of excavation, the full horizontal extent of a site is cleared and large areas are open while preserving a CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: An excavating technique that exposes the vertical face of a site.
Excavation is digging or related types of salvage work, scientifically controlled so as to yield the maximum amount of data. The excavation of a site, however, involves the destruction of the primary evidence, which can never be recovered.