This type of excavation is undertaken to establish a chronological sequence, normally covering a limited area.
CATEGORY: structure DEFINITION: A place where monks or nuns live, work, and worship.
A permanent record of the whole process should be kept: plans, drawings, notes, photographs. For years, excavation was regarded as merely a method of collecting artifacts.
Pitt Rivers in Britain and Petrie in the Near East first placed emphasis on evidence rather than artifacts, not what is found but where it was found relative to the layers of deposit (stratigraphy) and to other objects (association) -- the context.
Excavation is digging or related types of salvage work, scientifically controlled so as to yield the maximum amount of data. The excavation of a site, however, involves the destruction of the primary evidence, which can never be recovered.
In this method of excavation, the full horizontal extent of a site is cleared and large areas are open while preserving a CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: An excavating technique that exposes the vertical face of a site.This type of excavation is designed to reveal the vertical and temporal dimensions within an archaeological deposit -- the depth, sequence, and composition of buried data.