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Curriculum Outline
Texas Archeology Academies


Archeology 101 Curriculum Outline

Introduction to archeology, goals, objectives

How to recognize an archeological site

Identifying the signs of the past

Lithics, ceramics, bone, shell, burned rock, burned clay, historic materials

Survey and site recording

Why do we record sites?

How to record an archeological site

Assigning unique designation: site number, name

Recording the site position

Global Positioning System

United States Geological Survey maps

Aerial photographs

Describing the site

Mapping: pace and compass; aerial plotting

Assessing the depth

Assessing its temporal position

Assessing its cultural place

Composing narrative description

Photography and photo logs

Test excavations

Why test a site since testing destroys archeological deposits?

Is testing the best way to answer questions about a site?  Are there a clear goal and a clear exit for the testing?  Do we have the resources needed for completion?  Can we handle the excavated materials responsibly?  Can we afford to properly and permanently curate resulting materials?

Choosing a strategy for test excavations

Shovel testing

Test units

Small blocks

Choosing a place to test

Locating test pits on site map

Permanent datums and grids

Controlling depth (vertical control)

How to record and handle features

Sampling strategy

Size of test pit

How to lay out a meter square

Screen size

Flotation and fine screening

Excavation methods and procedures

Preserving context

Field sack log

Collection methods

Method of excavation

Natural levels

Arbitrary level

Sampling: What to collect and how much

Recording excavation

Field journal

Written narrative

Recording detail

Photographic record

Digital record

Laboratory methods

Lot numbers and inventory: cross-referencing field sack numbers

Laboratory processing

Preservation of delicate materials

Packaging: proper curation standards

Assessments and recommendations

Assessing and interpreting the results

What was the significance of the test

How can the site expand our knowledge about Texas archeology

Writing a report to file and publish

Protecting important sites

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April 20, 2013