In T-57 the standard method of excavation will be as follows. Soil will be picked with the small end of a pickax, broken into clumps, the clumps will be sorted by hand with trowels into buckets. The buckets will be removed from the trench and dumped at the dump site, located approximately 10 meters north from the northern baulk wall into the forest. If the amount of material increases too much to pick ax safely, then trowels will be used to break up the soil.
Any terracotta roofing tile that is undecorated or not a full profile or length will be counted in bowls with an approximate diameter of 30 cm and a maximum depth of 8 cm. Once counted and recorded these tiles shall be discarded in a dump located approximately 6 meters from the western baulk wall. Any bulk ceramics or bone found will be counted on site and brought down to the magazzino in latte boxes, which are approximately 23x9x6 cm (~1 L), for cleaning and further study.
If any special finds are uncovered their coordinates and elevation will be recorded in relation to the master grid of the site. A plumbbob will be held over the find and the distance from the trench boundaries will be measured at right angles in order to determine the N-S and E-W coordinates. The elevation will be obtained from a string, which is affixed to the trench datum located on a tree, 1 meter from the southern baulk wall of the trench, at 29.82 mAE in relation to the origin. A line level will be attached to the string to level it as it is extended over the find, intersecting with a plumbbob line, held over the artifact. The elevation will then be measured with a ridged tape measure. All coordinates are connected with the master grid established in 1991 ( see TT I, p. 3 ). Special finds are then sketched into the trench book on site and sent down to the magazzino at the end of the day in small containers for cleaning, analysis, and possible cataloging.
We will be excavating stratigraphicaly. Close attention will be paid to the soil during the excavation in T-57. Any changes in the soil will be noted in the trench book and the full extent of the new soil will be found, then a new locus will be declared, measured, photographed, and recorded. The cleaning of the baulk walls will occur periodically in order to keep them clean so the stratigraphy of the soil can be clearly seen.
It is important to note that methods may change as the excavation proceeds, as the types and amounts of material found as well as the geology and topography of the trench ultimately determines the best excavation approach and method.
We will be sieving every 4th bucket again this summer through a dry sieve of 1 cm once we have excavated top soil.
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