Practices of Archaeological Stratigraphy

Practices of Archaeological Stratigraphy

1st Edition - February 16, 1993

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  • Editor: Edward C. Harris
  • eBook ISBN: 9781483295824

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Practices of Archaeological Stratigraphy brings together a number of examples which illustrate the development and use of the Harris Matrix in describing and interpreting archaeological sites. This matrix, the theory of which is described in two editions of the previous book by Harris, Principles of Archaeological Stratigaphy, made possible for the first time a simple diagramatic representation of the strategraphic sequence of a site, no matter how complex. The Harris Matrix, by showing in one diagram all three linear dimensions, plus time, represents a quantum leap over the older methods which relied on sample sections only.In this book 17 essays present a sample of new work demonstrating the strengths and uses of the Harris Matrix, the first ever published collection of papers devoted solely to stratigraphy in archaeology. The crucial relationships between the Harris methods, open-area excavation techniques, the interpretation of interfaces, and the use of single-context plans and recording sheets, is clarified by reference to specific sites. These sites range from medieval Europe, through Mayan civilizations to Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia. This book will be of great value to all those involved in excavating and recording archaeological sites and should help to ensure that the maximum amount of stratigraphic information can be gathered from future investigations.

Key Features

* Presents case studies which illuminate the Harris matrix method, invented by Edward C. Harris
* Senior editor is the inventor of this method and principle in the field
* Serves as a companion volume to Harris's Principles of Archaeological Stratigraphy


AUDIENCE: All student- and research-level archaeologists and anthropologists who dig for artifacts.

Table of Contents

  • Foreword. Introduction. Interfaces in Archaeological Stratigraphy. Historical Trends. Recording the Archaeology of London: The Development and Implementation of the DUA Recording System. The Contribution of the Harris Matrix to the Development of Catalan Archaeology. Polish Medieval Excavations: Applications and Developments of the Harris Matrix. The Limits of Arbitrary Excavation. Analysis in Excavation. Single-Context Planning: Its Role in On-Site Recording Procedures and in Post-Excavation Analysis at York. Building Stratigraphic Sequences on Excavations: An Example from Konstanz, West Germany. Three-Dimensional Assessment of Activity Areas in a Shell Midden: An Example from the Hoko River Rockshelter, State of Washington. Matrices and Maya Archaeology. Phasing and Structural Analysis. Phasing Stratigraphic Sequences at Colonial Williamsburg. The Application of the Harris Matrix to the Recording of Standing Structures. The Total Site Matrix: Strata and Structure at the Bixby Site. Post Excavation Analysis. Computer-Aided Harris Matrix Generation. Interpreting Archaeology with HINDSIGHT: The Use of Three Dimensions in Graphic Recording and Site Analysis. Beyond Crossmends: Stratigraphic Analysis and the Content of Historic Artifact Assemblages on Urban Sites. The Seriation of Multilinear Stratigraphic Sequences. Future Developments. Sites Without Principles: Post Excavation Analysis of 'Pre-Matrix' Sites. Subject Index.

Product details

  • No. of pages: 296
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 1993
  • Published: February 16, 1993
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • eBook ISBN: 9781483295824

About the Editor

Edward C. Harris

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