Excavation (archaeology)

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The term archaeological excavation has a double meaning.

Contents

Overview

Within the practice of excavation, numerous specialized techniques are available for use, and each dig will have its particular features, which will determine the archaeologists' approach. Resources and other practical issues do not allow archaeologists to carry out excavations whenever and wherever they choose. These constraints mean many known sites have been deliberately left unexcavated. This is with the intention of preserving them for future generations as well as recognising the role they serve in the communities that live near them. In some cases it is also hoped that improvements in technology will enable them to be re-examined at a later date, with more fruitful results. Excavation is the digging and recording of artifacts at an archaeological site.

The presence or absence of archaeological remains can often be suggested to a more or less high degree of probability, by remote sensing, such as ground-penetrating radar. Indeed, grosser information about the development of the site may be drawn from this work but the understanding of finer features usually requires excavation though appropriate use of augering.

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