- Created by: ktommo
- Created on: 21-05-17 13:52
- Underwater Archaeology
- Excavators usually require extra equipment, such as watertight diving suits, air tanks and weights.
- In extreme depths, remotely controlled vehicles may need to be used if human cannot be exposed to the pressure.
- Cold temperatures make it difficult to stay still for very long.
- Poor visibility may mean you have to excavate by feeling things as opposed to seeing them.
- A form of sampling is almost always used to inform archaeologists of which excavation strategy to use.
- Removing spoil can sometimes be done using a combination of hand movements and water dispersal (wafting).
- Special techniques are needed for underwater archaeology.
- A water lance is used to shred sediment using a powerful jet of water dispersed from a tube. However, this can damage the archaeology.
- Using a range of water vacuum cleaners such as dredges and airlifts can help excavate spoil and keep sediment away for recording.
- Artefacts may have suffered from corrosion and created concretions which need to be broken up.
- Ordinary finds are placed in open containers, where as fragile finds re placed in sealed containers. Large finds are lifted using inflated air bags.
- If organic material is found, it is susceptible to damage if it is allowed to dry out, even briefly.
- Underwater recording methods are largely similar to recording methods on dry sites, but using different materials.
- Plastic 2x2 or 4x4 metre recording grids are set out and usual methods are used, for example planning, context sheets and photogrammetry.
- Synthetic paper allows normal pens to be used underwater.
- Photography is more limited than on dry sites due to poor visibility, so it is likely to be limited to close up shots or carefully rigged photogrammetry,
- Archaeologists can move freely about the site without disturbing or standing on excavations.
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