A permanent record of the whole process should be kept: plans, drawings, notes, photographs. For years, excavation was regarded as merely a method of collecting artifacts.
Pitt Rivers in Britain and Petrie in the Near East first placed emphasis on evidence rather than artifacts, not what is found but where it was found relative to the layers of deposit (stratigraphy) and to other objects (association) -- the context.
It is a little used method with the introduction of technology.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: vertical excavation CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: Excavation of a site to reveal its vertical extent, with relatively little breadth.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: horizontal (area) excavation CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: The excavation of a site to reveal its horizontal extent.
Such an excavation is designed to uncover large areas of a site, especially settlement layouts.
Removal of the topsoil will either be carried out by hand or machine.