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With reference to one specific excavation of your choice, describe and illustrate the various components of the excavation

process and the way in which the results of the work have been published. The excavation of the Romano-British town of Wroxeter has developed over a course of over 100 years and has covered only a small section of the archaeology of the civitas despite being the fourth largest Romano-British town. Excavation is primarily the more physical approach to uncovering a site and it is a destructive technique that is used. Even if trowelling is carefully pursued some pre-excavation is needed, to identify not only the site itself but also the places of interest where a trench could be dug. The most prominent non-destructive technique to do this by is geophysical surveying which was used exceedingly in the Wroxeter Hinterland Project (Renfrew et al. 2008: 102). Of course excavation is obviously considered to just be about digging but without a range of scientific approaches there is little evidence about the true identity of a site. Also, without using stratigraphy we would not be able to read subtle changes [to] study the human past (Stein 1993: 1) as the layers of sediment uncovers where past life and environments lived simultaneously. The way in which results are published is vast when it comes to looking at a site, the primary way being through ways of an archaeological report but on site before results are published a lot of work must be done through methods like planning grids or context sheets. The excavation process draws upon various different methods to uncover past human life and reveals how the past is directly linked to the present day. The process of pre-excavation on a site is as important as excavation itself and there are various different methods which are used and Barker (1986) puts the non-destructive techniques into ten distinct steps, only some of which are relevant to the excavation at Wroxeter. Notably speaking the first step would be the reviewing of appropriate documents. According to Barker (1986: 55) Documentary references to archaeological sites may simply be a passing reference to an early manuscript so exemplifying how documents are directly linked to the discovery of a site. The more complete the documentation the more likely it is that site will be dug (Barker 1986: 56). In Wroxeter, as highlighted by White et al. (2006: 13), antiquarian accounts are very useful for looking at the Old Work and is referred to by William Camden1 and in particular by Thomas Wright, the first antiquarian to excavate the site. However, without drawings and maps there is little evidence for sites.
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William Camden was the Clarenceux King of Arms in the Court of Heralds to Queen Elizabeth and refers briefly to Wroxeter in his book Britannia in 1586. White et al. 2006

With reference to one specific excavation of your choice, describe and illustrate the various components of the excavation process and the way in which the results of the work have been published. Also, looking at drawings and maps gives us a direct correlation into its observation and sites context (Barker 1986: 57). In particular at Wroxeter there are three such productions spanning from 1721 to 1812 giving us insight into what The Old Work looked like and the initial discovery of the baths (White et al. 2006: 13-15). For Wroxeter itself there are very few maps dating before the 19th century (White et al. 2006). There has been much interest archaeologically speaking for Wroxeter for over two centuries. Barker (1986: 57-8) considers that even if the previous work on a site is wildly inaccurate the results can be very informative. Most notable for the initial excavations at Wroxeter is the work of Wright in the 18th century, Fox in the late 19th and early 20th century and Atkinson later in the early 20th century (White et al. 2006). These men uncovered a major part of the Romano-British town for modern excavations to follow on from. The Wroxeter Hinterland Project illustrates the importance of Geophysical surveying in revealing the size of a site, extent of occupation and Romanization (Buteux et al., 2000). The Wroxeter Hinterland Project itself is very unique due to its magnitude of study and the sampling of new geophysical surveying techniques for example a new version of RATEAU (Dabas et al., 2000: 107) and a recently introduced mobile resistivity multiplexing system (Walker, 2000: 119). Only the latter being successful which is due to problems with the RATEAU technology technically and through saturation of soils via precipitation (Dabas et al., 2000: 117). Though the most prominent method is obviously the results of the gradiometer survey which covered 78 ha of land (Gaffney et al., 2000: 81) and disproved the theory that Wroxeter was a garden city (Gaffney et al., 2000: 81) as can be seen from various maps and interpretative colour maps in Gaffney et al.. Evidently this technique has for the first time mapped an entire Roman city (White et al., 2006). Nishimura et al. (2000: 105) show that their study through ground penetrating radar survey exemplifies that deeply stratified sites can respond well to detailed surveys using GPR and time-slicing software and it is clear that it successfully created extensive plans of structures over the majority of the area of the site (2000: 101). It is clear that survey based on GPS has matured into an important data collection technique (Barratt et al., 2000: 134) and in particular to archaeological sites that appear to have few obvious surface features or where techniques are too coarse

With reference to one specific excavation of your choice, describe and illustrate the various components of the excavation process and the way in which the results of the work have been published. grained (Barratt et al., 2000: 134). It reveals the topography of the site (Barratt et al., 2000: 133). GPS at Wroxeter is two-fold and these are Digital Elevation Models (DEM) (Barratt et al., 2000: 141) and kinematic height determination (Barratt et al., 2000: 141). This revolutionised differential GPS [which] can be used to tie ground survey into a common co-ordinate system (Barratt et al., 2000: 140-1). Wroxeters revolutionary use of Geophysics is important because it is an integral part of a larger research project (Renfrew et al., 2008: 103). Of course the other methods of non-destructive surveying are useful but in particular to this site they are not so much. Although, aerial photography and diagrams are very useful as well and can be seen in Barker (1986) and White et al. (2006) in various places. Other methods that can be used are as follows field walking, contour surveying, chemical analyses, metal detecting and dowsing. The more destructive techniques (Barker 1986) are bore holes, trial trenches and test pits. The most useful of these being the digging of trial trenches and test pits which is the standard method of sampling a site (Barker 1986: 69) but they still have many limitations (Barker 1986: 69). They are essentially the deciders as to whether a site will be fully excavated. The process of excavating a site is simplistically taken as just meaning the physical act of digging though this is only one part of the process. When on site drawings must be compiled, these are called plans and cross sections. Also, when particular items or objects are found a different method of excavating must be implemented, for example when digging up bones the excavator moves from using trowels to smaller items like toothpicks. Excavating a site consists of many different elements which work in correlation to each other to uncover the true identity of the site. Generally on site various different factors must be taken into consideration. On every site it is split up into 5m by 5m grids according to the national grid system. The type of excavation matters greatly, is it a rescue or a research excavation. This matters greatly as in rescue excavations a trench is usually machine-dug (Barker 1986: 69) or if time is not pressured then a half moon and shovel may be used to remove the grass and a little of the top soil. According to Barker (1986: 89) an archaeological site should be dissected logically from the surface down,

With reference to one specific excavation of your choice, describe and illustrate the various components of the excavation process and the way in which the results of the work have been published. layer by layer, feature by feature, down to the smallest feature and beyond. A site is usually systematically dug, one centimetre at a time and you are told where you shouldnt tread and to do this there are three separate methods that can be implemented so that the archaeology is not damaged in any way (Collis, 2001: 49). Whilst digging you use a trowel to define the features you find and a brush to collect the soil (or sediment) in the bucket which generalises the features as well. If a large stone is found this must be left in the ground to make sure contexts do not get mixed up. Generally speaking on most sites before soil is put on the spoil heap it is sieved to make sure no small items have been missed whilst digging. When a section has been dug it needs to be recorded by both planning and cross sections, which are drawn by hand to a scale of 1:20 for plans and 1:10 for cross sections generally speaking, and use of context numbers and finds drawings. Depending on the scale of the site, levels need to be taken either manually or by use of the total station. These are the general techniques used on archaeological sites across the world. In terms of Wroxeter itself the excavations have uncovered a large amount of highly important public buildings. There will be focus on some of the excavation seasons at Wroxeter. According to Atkinson during the earlier excavations they focused digging of the baths meaning that the excavations that he carried out in 1923-1927 were focused on the digging of the forum. From these excavations many different items were found including the forum dedication slab, the diploma, delicate glasswork, iron objects, Samian pottery amongst others (Atkinson, 1942) showing the full extent of Romanization that had developed from the civitas capital. From the photographs in Atkinson it looks like they used either shovels or mattocks to dig the site though they probably used smaller tools as well. The later excavations return to the baths, especially the basilica where many thousands of animal bones were found and also a number of skull fragments, the most important body of evidence found at this excavation was that the basilica was destroyed, it could have possibly been because it was unsafe due to evidence of later occupation (Barker, 1980: 15). The results of an excavation or pre-excavation are usually published in a report, journal or book and contain various diagrams to illustrate what has been found on site, using the drawings and finds to reveal the identity of the site to the academic and public community.

With reference to one specific excavation of your choice, describe and illustrate the various components of the excavation process and the way in which the results of the work have been published. It is obvious from the publications focused on the excavations at Wroxeter that they have been published in such a way as to validate the finds found on site. Even the early report by Atkinson (1942: v-viii) describes the site and how they thought the civitas has developed during its occupation, considering the evidence for buildings in chronological order first, and then by each individual area. He then considers finds found in less accessible areas or destructive debris layers, and then particular objects or groups of objects, like coins, analysing them and backing up his evidence with drawings made on site. He follows on to deal with the excavations from one particular year and presents a large amount of his photographic evidence in the appendices. Barker (1980: 3) follows a similar publication of his results though he starts by introducing The Campaigns on the Welsh Marches though there is no appendix so there are more drawings in the text rather than at the back of the document and looking into the area which he studied in detail. The book produced by White et al. 2006 takes a different spin on the evidence giving it interpretation and following Wroxeter through to its post-medieval occupation. It focuses on various aspects of the city and shows geophysical results, photographs (of finds, aerial etc.) and maps. The journal on Geophysics at Wroxeter (Gaffney et al. 2000) shows a lot more examples of maps which reveal where the buildings are positioned. It also explores the newly introduced methods and describes how they carried out the surveys including the specific equipment so that the academic community could follow their experimental techniques. They interpret the results quadrant by quadrant and in some places there are colour maps of these interpretations. They also consider the best places to dig even though it is not allowed as Wroxeter is possessed by English Heritage. In Barker (1986: 110-111) the distribution of human skull fragments at the Basilica has been presented as a plan. It is clear that the way in which results have been published illustrates the finds and buildings at Wroxeter and interpretation into its occupation. In conclusion, it is clear that the excavation process has various components all of which interact with each other to uncover a site. In the case of Wroxeter it can be seen that this site is genuinely unique in its advancements in geophysical surveying techniques and it has essentially mapped out the entire town. The excavations at Wroxeter are complex but even whilst actually digging on site you have to take many different factors into consideration and record on site. The results are laid out most the same as other sites with the order in which they are

With reference to one specific excavation of your choice, describe and illustrate the various components of the excavation process and the way in which the results of the work have been published. published and it shows us insight into how the site could have been occupied. Wroxeter is an individual site, one that has uncovered many mysteries but still has a lot that remain. 2181 words

With reference to one specific excavation of your choice, describe and illustrate the various components of the excavation process and the way in which the results of the work have been published.

Reference List
Atkinson, D. 1942. Report on Excavations at Wroxeter (the Roman City of Viroconium) in the County of Salop 1923-1927 Oxford: The University Press. Barker, P. (ed.) 1980. Wroxeter Roman City: Excavations 1966-1980 Essex: The Department of the Environment. Barker, P. 1986. Understanding Archaeological Excavation London: B.T. Batsford Limited. Barratt, G. Gaffney, V., Goodchild, H. and Wilkes, S. 2000. Survey at Wroxeter Using Carrier Phase, Differential GPS Surveying Techniques. Archaeological Prospection. Vol. 7.2: 133-143. Buteux, S., Gaffney, V., White, R. and Van Leusen, M. 2000. Wroxeter Hinterland Project and Geophysical Survey at Wroxeter. Archaeological Prospection. Vol. 7.2: 69-80. Collis, J. 2001. Digging up the Past: An Introduction to Archaeological Excavation Gloucestershire: Sutton Publishing Limited. Dabas, M., Hesse, A. and Tabbagh, J. 2000. Experimental Resistivity Survey at Wroxeter Archaeological Site with a Fast and Light Recording Device. Archaeological Prospection. Vol. 7.2: 107-118. Gaffney, C.F., Gater, J.A., Linford, P., Gaffney, V.L. and White, R. 2000. Largescale Systematic Fluxgate Gradiometry at the Roman City of Wroxeter. Archaeological Prospection. Vol. 7.2: 81-99. Nishimura, Y. and Goodman, D. 2000. Ground Penetrating Radar Survey at Wroxeter. Archaeological Prospection. Vol. 7.2: 101-105. Renfrew, C. and Bahn, P. 2008. Archaeology: Theories, Methods and Practice London: Thames and Hudson Ltd. Stein, J.K. and Farrand, W.R. (eds) 2001. Sediments in Archaeological Context Salt Lake City: The University of Utah Press.

With reference to one specific excavation of your choice, describe and illustrate the various components of the excavation process and the way in which the results of the work have been published. Walker, A.R. 2000. Multiplexed Resistivity Survey at the Roman Town of Wroxeter. Archaeological Prospection. Vol. 7.2: 119-132. White, R. and Barker, P. 2006. Wroxeter: Life and Death of a Roman City Gloucestershire: Tempus Publishing Ltd.