excavation

excavational, adj.
/eks'keuh vay"sheuhn/, n.
1. a hole or cavity made by excavating.
2. the act of excavating.
3. an area in which excavating has been done or is in progress, as an archaeological site.
[1605-15; < L excavation- (s. of excavatio) a hollowing. See EXCAVATE, -ION]
Syn. 1. See hole.

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In archaeology, the exposure, recording, and recovery of buried material remains.

The techniques employed vary by the type of site, but all forms of archaeological excavation require great skill and careful preparation. The process begins with site location, by means of aerial photography, remote sensing, or, commonly, accidental discovery by construction crews. This step is followed by surveying and mapping, site sampling, and developing an excavation plan. The design and execution of an excavation frequently require an interdisciplinary team of experts. The actual digging consists of the removal of surplus dirt and the painstaking examination, through observation, sifting, and other means, of remaining soil, artifacts, and context. Common dig tools include the trowel, penknife, and brush. The excavation phase is followed by artifact classification, analysis, dating, and the publication of results. Excavation may last decades or be a short-term emergency salvage operation (as when a site is threatened by development).

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Universalium. 2010.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • excavation — [ ɛkskavasjɔ̃ ] n. f. • 1566; lat. excavatio → excaver 1 ♦ Rare Action de creuser dans le sol. Procéder à l excavation d un puits. 2 ♦ Cour. Creux dans un terrain. ⇒ cavité. Excavation naturelle. ⇒ caverne, creux, crevasse, 2. faille, grotte.… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Excavation — Ex ca*va tion, n. [L. excavatio: cf. F. excavation.] 1. The act of excavating, or of making hollow, by cutting, scooping, or digging out a part of a solid mass. [1913 Webster] 2. A cavity formed by cutting, digging, or scooping. A winding… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Excavation — (v. lat.) Aushöhlung …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Excavation — Excavation, lat. dtsch., Aushöhlung …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • excavation — index evulsion Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • excavation — 1610s, action of excavating, from L. excavationem (nom. excavatio) a hollowing out, noun of action from pp. stem of excavare (see EXCAVATE (Cf. excavate)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • excavation — [n] site of digging; digging blasting, burrow, cavity, cut, cutting, dig, disinterring, ditch, dugout, exhuming, hole, hollow, mine, mining, pit, quarry, removal, scooping, shaft, shoveling, trench, trough, unearthing; concepts 178,509,513 Ant.… …   New thesaurus

  • excavation — [eks΄kə vā′shən] n. [L excavatio] 1. an excavating or being excavated 2. a hole or hollow made by excavating 3. something unearthed by excavating SYN. HOLE …   English World dictionary

  • EXCAVATION — s. f. Action de creuser un terrain. L excavation des fondements de cet édifice a coûté beaucoup.   Il se dit aussi d Un creux fait dans un terrain, soit de main d homme, soit par quelque accident naturel. Cette excavation n est pas assez profonde …   Dictionnaire de l'Academie Francaise, 7eme edition (1835)

  • EXCAVATION — n. f. Action de creuser un terrain. L’excavation des fondements de cet édifice a coûté beaucoup. Il se dit aussi d’un Creux fait dans un terrain, soit de main d’homme ou par quelque instrument, soit par un accident naturel. La rivière, en… …   Dictionnaire de l'Academie Francaise, 8eme edition (1935)

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