Volume 3, Issue 3 (Fall 2019)                   Archeology 2019, 3(3): 46-68 | Back to browse issues page

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Alibaigi S, MacGinnis J. Where do we excavate stratigraphic trenches? A note on the relationship between the site formation process, trench location and stratigraphic excavation results. Archeology. 2019; 3 (3) :46-68
URL: http://archj.richt.ir/article-10-310-en.html
1- Assistant Professor of Archaeology, Department of Archaeology, Faculty of literature and Humanities, Razi University, Kermanshah, Iran , sadjadalibaigi@gmail.com
2- Senior Curator, Department of the Middle East, British Museum, London, WC1B 3DG, UK
Abstract:   (581 Views)
This study seeks to evaluate the possible relationship between the location of stratigraphic trenches and the results of excavations in order to answer questions on (1) the effect of the location of trenches in stratigraphic excavations on the nature, quantity and quality of excavation findings, and (2) on what the criteria should be for choosing the location of these trenches. To address these issues, the findings and results of stratigraphic excavations at over thirty archaeological sites in Iran were investigated in order to assess the relationship between the geographic location of a trench and the nature of the archaeology uncovered. Specifically, why do trenches excavated on the northern or eastern slopes of relatively high mounds, or slopes overlooking rivers and valleys, usually consist of layers without architecture filled with accumulations of rubbish, ash and debris, whereas trenches excavated on southern and western slopes show a different pattern and generally produce clear architectural layers unaccompanied by accumulations of rubbish, ash and debris? Studies indicate a significant correlation. This situation is likely to be rooted in garbage disposal patterns in ancient sites, site formation processes, and the direction and amount of sunlight and its impact on the creation of the built environment. Current evidence and research results demonstrate that in most high multi-period mounds ancient people usually discarded their daily debris and garbage on northern and eastern slopes, and that the inhabitants of sites overlooking rivers and valleys and other people dwelling on slopes simply discarded their garbage downhill. These findings tie in with ethnoarchaeological observations in more than 130 present-day villages. If correct, this is important for archaeologists conducting stratigraphic excavations, the implications being that, in the case of mounds, siting trenches on southern and western slopes will maximise the chances of uncovering ancient architecture.
Full-Text [PDF 2454 kb]   (254 Downloads)    
Type of Study: Research | Subject: Cultural property
Received: 2020/06/3 | Accepted: 2020/06/21 | Published: 2020/07/31

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