T 59 will be excavated stratigraphically. Loci will be used to distinguish discrete events in the creation of the archaeological record, with new soil types, architectural features, and significant changes in the materials recovered warranting the creation of new loci.
The standard method of excavation within each locus will be as follows. In general, pickaxes will be used to break up soil; if a more sensitive method of excavation is needed, hand-picks or trowels may be used for this purpose. Soil then will be sorted by hand and with trowels. In contextualized strata, one out of every three buckets of sorted soil will be dry sieved using a sieve with a 1 cm gauge; the other two out of every three buckets of sorted soil will be discarded in a dirt dump located approximately 15 meters to the north of the trench. A wet sieve may be added at a later point in the season.
Any terracotta roofing tile found will be counted in bowls with a diameter of 30 centimeters and a maximum depth of 8 centimeters. Once counted and recorded, these finds shall be discarded
in a tile dump located approximately 10 meters to the north of T 59. Any pottery or bone found will be counted on site and brought down to the magazzino in latte boxes for cleaning and further study. Any tile found while sieving will be documented separately but discarded at the end of the work day, while any pottery or bone recovered from the sieve will be brought to the magazinno and documented separately.
For all special finds, which will include all weaving equipment, full profiles of ceramics and roofing tiles, decorated pottery, decorative architectural elements, cut or worked bone, or any other artifact deemed noteworthy by the trench supervisor, coordinates and elevations relative to the master grid will be recorded, as well as the locus from which an artifact is recovered; as the trench will be established at known coordinates of the master grid (see Trench Layout), coordinates of special finds will be measured from the trench walls. Additionally, a fixed elevation datum point will be established in a tree located to the south of the trench, with an elevation of 29.28m
on the master grid, which will be used to determine the elevation of all special finds. Special finds are then sketched in the trench book on site and sent to the magazzino for cleaning, analysis, and possibly for cataloging. Any special finds found in the sieve will be designated supplemental finds and the closest approximate range of coordinates and elevations will be provided. The same is true for all supplemental finds found in the magazzino.
As stated above, excavations will be conducted stratigraphically. Any changes in soil type, artifact types or quantities, or the appearance of architectural features will be noted in the trench book and a new locus will be defined, measured, photographed, and recorded. Additionally, the baulk walls will be trimmed regularly in order to gain a better understanding of the stratigraphy.
Excavation methods may change throughout the course of the season, as the types and amounts of material found as well as the geology and topography of the trench ultimately determine the best excavation method.
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