Earthworks (archaeology)


Earthworks (archaeology)

In archaeology, earthworks are artificial changes in land level often known as "lumps and bumps". They can themselves be features or they can show features beneath the surface. [Muir, 77] Earthworks of interest to archaeologists include ancient fortifications, henges, mounds, tumuli, and other tombs [Wood, 85–96; see also: excavation] . Earthworks from deserted medieval villages can be used to determine the location, size, and layout of lost settlements.

Earthworks can vary in height from a few centimetres to the size of Silbury Hill at 40 metres. They can date from the neolithic through to last week. They can stretch for many tens of kilometres, "e.g." Offa's Dyke.

Shallow earthworks are often more visible in aerial photographs taken when the sun is low in the sky and shadows are more pronounced. [Wilson, 38] Similarly, earthworks may be more visible after a frost or a light dusting of snow. [Aston, 14] An accurate survey of the earthworks can enable them to be interpreted without the need for excavation. [Taylor, 59–60]

Notes

References

*Aston, Mick (2002) "Interpreting the Landscape", Tempus, ISBN 07524 2520X
*Muir, Richard (2004) "Landscape Encyclopedia", Bollington, Cheshire: Windgather, ISBN 0-9545575-0-6
*Taylor, Christopher (1974) "Fieldwork in Medieval Archaeology", London: Batsford, ISBN 0-7134-2850-3
*Wilson, D.R. (2000) "Air Photo Interpretation for Archaeologists", 2nd ed., Stroud: Tempus, ISBN 0-7524-1498-4
*Wood, Eric (1975) "Collins Field Guide to Archaeology", 4th ed., London: Collins, ISBN 0-00-219168-7


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Earthworks — can refer to: * Earthworks (archaeology) lumps and bumps on the landscape showing archaeological features; * Earthworks (engineering) in civil engineering based on moving massive quantites of soil; * Earthworks (corporation), audio equipment… …   Wikipedia

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

  • Archaeology of the Americas — Stone circle at Burnt Hill, Massachusetts, USA The archaeology of the Americas is the study of the archaeology of North America (Mesoamerica included), Central America, South America and the Caribbean. This includes the study of pre historic/Pre… …   Wikipedia

  • Iowa archaeology — This entry is about the buried remains of human cultures in Iowa. For studies of rocks, fossils, paleontology, and soils, see Geology of Iowa. From Hunters to Farmers: Overview of Iowa PrehistoryWhen the first Native Americans arrived in what is… …   Wikipedia

  • Newark Earthworks — U.S. National Register of Historic Places U.S. National Historic Landmark …   Wikipedia

  • Portsmouth Earthworks — Horseshoe Mound U.S. National Register of Historic Places …   Wikipedia

  • Mount Horeb Earthworks Complex — Location …   Wikipedia

  • Experimental archaeology — employs a number of different methods, techniques, analyses, and approaches in order to generate and test hypotheses or an interpretation, based upon archaeological source material, like ancient structures or artifacts. [Experimental archaeology… …   Wikipedia

  • Museum of Ontario Archaeology — Coordinates: 43°00′48″N 81°18′20″W / 43.013426°N 81.30559°W / 43.013426; 81.30559 …   Wikipedia

  • Landscape archaeology — is a body of method and theory for the study of the material traces of past peoples within the context of their interactions in the wider (typically regional) social and natural environment they inhabited. The landscape may be large, such as a… …   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.