T 78 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. 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.
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, handpicks or trowels may be used for this purpose. Soil then will be sorted by hand and with trowels. In securely contextualized strata, one out of every three buckets will be dry sieved using a sieve with a 0.5 cm gauge. Sorted soil
will be discarded in a dirt dump located approximately 15 meters to the north of the trench.
Any terracotta roofing tile found will be counted in bowls with a diameter of 28 cm and a maximum depth of 8 cm. Once counted and recorded, these shall be discarded in a tile dump used in 2014, located approximately 10 meters to the south of T 78. 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 workday, while any pottery or bone recovered from the sieve will be brought to the magazzino and documented separately.
For all special finds, which will include all chronologically diagnostic artifacts, weaving equipment, full profiles of ceramics and roofing tiles, decorated pottery, decorative architectural elements, cut or worked bone, or any other artifact deemed noteworthy, coordinates and elevations relative to the master grid will be recorded, as well as the
locus from which an artifact is recovered. A fixed elevation datum point will be established in a tree located to the south of the trench, with an elevation of 27.69m. 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.
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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