Field Archaeology: An Introduction

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  • Edition: 2nd
  • Format: Nonspecific Binding
  • Copyright: 2011-03-11
  • Publisher: Routledge
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Supplemental Materials

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Since its first publication, Field Archaeology: An Introductionhas proved to be a key handbook for all those undertaking introductory courses in archaeology or volunteering on their first excavation. In this revised second edition, key developments in technology, theory and changes in the law are included, bringing it up to date with the most recent fieldwork practices. The dig is the face of archaeology most immediately recognised by the general public, and is often what attracts both students and amateurs to the discipline. Yet there is much more to working in the field than digging alone. Peter Drewett's comprehensive survey explores the process, from the core work of discovery and excavation to the final product, the published archaeological report. The main topics are: How an archaeological site is formed Finding and recording archaeological sites Planning excavations, digging the site and recording the results Post-fieldwork planning, processing and finds analysis Interpreting the evidence Publishing the report Illustrated with 100 photographs and line drawings, and using numerous case studies, this second edition of Field Archaeologyensures it will remain the essential introductory guide for archaeology students and the growing number of enthusiasts for the subject.

Author Biography

Peter Drewett is Emeritus Professor of Archaeology at the University of Sussex. Prior to this, he taught field archaeology at the Institute of Archaeology, University College London, where he directed the undergraduate field training excavations and established the Institute's Field Archaeology Unit. Early in his career he was particularly involved in the rescue excavation of plough-damaged sites on the South Downs. He set up and directed the Barbados Archaeological Survey, as well as running field courses and rescue excavations in Portugal and Hong Kong. Professor Drewett has over 100 published works, including (with Mark Gardiner and David Rudling) The South East to AD 1000 (1988) and Prehistoric Barbados (1991).

Table of Contents

List of figuresp. vii
Preface to the First Editionp. xi
Preface to the Second Editionp. xiii
Acknowledgementsp. xv
Abbreviationsp. xvii
Introductionp. 1
What is archaeology?p. 1
What is field archaeology?p. 3
Who does field archaeology?p. 6
Theoretical basis of field archaeologyp. 8
Project managementp. 12
What is an archaeological site? How is it formed and transformed?p. 15
Primary and secondary usesp. 15
Rubbish and accidental lossp. 18
Burialsp. 20
Abandonment of a sitep. 21
Natural transformation processesp. 22
Two examples of abandonmentp. 26
Finding archaeological sitesp. 28
Existing knowledgep. 28
Documentsp. 30
Aerial photography, satellite images and LiDARp. 32
Ground surveyp. 39
Geophysical surveyp. 46
Chemical surveyp. 51
Accidental discoveryp. 53
Recording archaeological sitesp. 54
Written descriptionp. 54
Archaeological surveyingp. 55
Photographyp. 69
Planning the excavationp. 72
Permission, funding and the lawp. 72
Site safetyp. 78
Staff, equipment and logisticsp. 83
Approaches to excavationp. 88
Levels of recoveryp. 93
Digging the sitep. 99
Excavationp. 100
Recurrent types of context and their excavationp. 102
Sites without featuresp. 112
Artefacts and ecofacts, their recovery and treatmentp. 114
Matrices, phasing and dating sitesp. 115
Excavation and the publicp. 118
Recording archaeological excavationsp. 119
The written recordp. 119
The drawn recordp. 123
The photographic recordp. 130
The finds recordp. 133
Post-fieldwork planning, processing and finds analysisp. 136
Post-fieldwork planningp. 136
Finds analysisp. 138
Interpreting the evidencep. 151
Interpreting the site's environmentp. 151
Interpretation of the household and its activity areasp. 153
Interpretation of the community and its activity areasp. 158
Interpretation of how people livedp. 160
Publishing the reportp. 163
Archaeological illustrationp. 164
Writing a reportp. 169
Getting a report published in a journalp. 172
Referencesp. 174
Indexp. 179
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