Archaeological Practice

Research
To find out more about a site
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Rescue
to record sites being destroyed by development or other processes
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Key stages
Project design; Assessment; Fieldwork; Analysis; Dissemination
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Desk-based study
using existing records to determine the known/potential archaeological resource
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Types of sources
Written records; Photography; Maps; Drawings; Field visits; Historical documents
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Maps
a graphic representation of spatial concepts, it conveys geographical knowledge/perceptions
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Formation processes
these can affect the ways in which finds were buried and what happens to them afterwards
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Natural transformations
Are a result of natural processes e.g. geology
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Cultural transformations
Are a result of anthropogenic processes
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Aerial photography
Oblique: taken at an angle; Vertical: taken straight above
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Survey
Extensive: all surviving earthworks are recorded to give an overall idea; Intensive: usually an individual earthwork surveyed
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Cropmarks
changes in crop growth due to buried ditches or walls
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Soil marks
changes in subsoil colour due to buried ditches, banks and foundations
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Shadow sites
these define features which can be viewed in relief but are dependent on light and weather conditions
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Geophysics
Resistivity: different soil compositions will conduct electricity differently; Gradiometry: detects magnetic deviations from subsoil
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Positive features
features that have been built up or added to the surface layer
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Negative features
features that have been cut into the ground
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Relative dating
the sequence of order of events in chronological order
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Stratigraphy
strata (layers) occurs from oldest to youngest
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Typology
relates to artefacts and putting them in a sequence
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Seriation
Study of how the form of artefacts change over time
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Chemical Analysis
can tell whether bones buried together are of the same date
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Absolute dating
tells how much time has passed in relation to a fixed point and can provide a specific date
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Artefact dating
dating a context based on the objects within
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Terminus Post Quem
'Date after which'
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Terminus Ante Quem
'Date before which'
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Cross-dating
gives a date based on associated objects with dates
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Dendrochronology
study of annual growth rings found in trees
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Radio-carbon Dating
the decay of 14C at a constant rate
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Potassium-Argon Dating
the decay of 40K and 40AR
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Trapped electron
total dose of electrons divided by annual date
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Thermoluminescence
heating results in the release of electrons
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Post-excavation
the intermediate stage between fieldwork and publication
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Site report
finds; excavated features; fills and layers; etc
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small finds
(rare): glass; pottery; stone; worked bone
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Process
finds need to be cleaned and dried, re-bagged, catalogued, analysed and reported
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environmental archaeology
concerned with ecology and human activity
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Before excavation
identifying features and contexts, photograph and record
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During excavation
fill out context sheets, bag, register and label finds
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Horizontal plans
drawings which display features and contexts
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Vertical sections
draw record of the stratigraphy of a feature or site
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Publication
the preservation of data in order to disseminate information, public accountability and to provide a record of what was found
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Structure of report
summary/abstract; introduction; stratigraphic evidence; discussion and interpretation; catalogue and appendices
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Practical archaeology
excavation and fieldwork
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Theoretical archaeology
interpretation of data and analysis
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Processual archaeology
concerned with retrieving empirical data
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Post-processual
argues the importance of social, political and cultural factors
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

to record sites being destroyed by development or other processes

Back

Rescue

Card 3

Front

Project design; Assessment; Fieldwork; Analysis; Dissemination

Back

Preview of the back of card 3

Card 4

Front

using existing records to determine the known/potential archaeological resource

Back

Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5

Front

Written records; Photography; Maps; Drawings; Field visits; Historical documents

Back

Preview of the back of card 5
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