Feature (archaeology)

Feature in archaeology and especially excavation has several different but allied meanings. A feature is a collection of one or more contexts representing some human non-portable activity that generally has a vertical characteristic to it in relation to site stratigraphy. Examples of features are pits, walls, and ditches. General horizontal elements in the stratigraphic sequence, such as layers, dumps, or surfaces are not referred to as features. Examples of surfaces include yards, roads, and floors.

Features tend to have an intrusive characteristic or associated cuts. This is not definitive as surfaces can be referred to as features of a building and free standing structures with no construction cut can still be features. Middens (dump deposits) are also referred to as features due to their discrete boundaries. This is seen in comparison to leveling dumps, which stretch out over a substantial portion of a site. The concept of a feature is, to a certain degree, fuzzy, as it will change depending on the scale of excavation.

Generic feature types

Features specific to certain architecture types or eras such as trilithon for the purposes of this article are not considered generic. Generic features are feature types that can come from a broad section in time of the archaeological record if not all of it. Generic types can include:
#Cuts
#Re-cuts
#Pits
#Post holes
#Stake holes
#Construction cuts
#Robber trenches
#Walls
#Foundations
#Ditches
#Drains
#Wells
#Cisterns
#Hearths
#Stairs and steps
#Enclosures
#Lynchets
#Graves
#Burials
#Middens
#Pit-houses
#Fire pits

ee also

*Archaeological context
*Excavation
*Archaeological field survey
*Single context recording
*Harris matrix
*Archaeological plan
*Archaeological association
*Relationship (archaeology)
*Cut (archaeology)
*Archaeological section
*Fill (archaeology)

References

*The MoLAS archaeological site manual MoLAS, London 1994. ISBN 0-904818-40-3. Rb 128pp. bl/w


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Feature — For featured articles in Wikipedia, see Wikipedia:Featured articles and featured article candidates For feature requests relating to the MediaWiki software which powers Wikipedia, see Wikipedia:Bug reports and feature requests For featured topics …   Wikipedia

  • Archaeology — For the magazine about archaeology, see Archaeology (magazine). Excavations at the site of Gran Dolina, in the Atapuerca Mountains, Spain, 2008 Archaeology, or archeology[1] (from Greek ἀρχαιολογία, archaiologia …   Wikipedia

  • Archaeology and the Book of Mormon — Part of a series on The Book of Mormon …   Wikipedia

  • Archaeology of Ayodhya — Archaeological studies in the 1970s: Project Archaeology of the Ramayana Sites Though results were not reported in that period,Fact|date=February 2007 between 1975 and 1985 an archaeological project was carried out in Ayodhya to examine some… …   Wikipedia

  • Excavation (archaeology) — The term archaeological excavation has a double meaning.# Excavation is the best known and most commonly used within the science of archaeology. In this sense it is the exposure, processing and recording of archaeological remains. # The term is… …   Wikipedia

  • Fill (archaeology) — In archaeology fills are contexts representing material that has accumulated or has been deposited into a cut feature such as ditch or pit of some kind. Fills are an important part of the archaeological record as their formation and composition… …   Wikipedia

  • Cut (archaeology) — Fig 1. Saxon pit half sectioned In Archaeology and archeological stratification a cut or truncation is a context that represents a moment in time when other archaeological deposits were removed for the creation of some feature such as a ditch or… …   Wikipedia

  • Alignment (archaeology) — An alignment in archaeology is a secondary or circumstantial form of evidence used to associate features such as postholes by virtue of their physical relationships rather than stratigraphic ones. Features dissected by latter intrusions can have… …   Wikipedia

  • Spit (archaeology) — In the field of archaeology, a spit is a unit of archaeological excavation with an arbitrarily assigned measurement of depth and extent. It is a method of excavation employed without regard to the archaeological stratigraphy that may (or may not) …   Wikipedia

  • Relationship (archaeology) — An archaeological relationship is the position in space and by implication, in time, of an object or context with respect to another. This is determined, not by linear measurement but by determining the sequence of their deposition which arrived… …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.