- The Oxford Handbook of Archaeology
- List of Contributors
- The Discipline of Archaeology
- The Formative Century, 1860–1960
- The Theoretical Scene, 1960–2000
- Into the Future
- Measuring the Passage of Time: Achievements and Challenges in Archaeological Dating
- Human Activity in a Spatial Context
- Data Collection by Excavation
- Mastering Materials
- The Nature of Humanness
- Early Hominids
- The Emergence of <i>Homo</i> Sapiens Sapiens
- The Neanderthals
- Peopling the World
- Hunters and Gatherers
- Early Farming and Domestication
- Studying Human Diet
- Cultural Complexity
- Trade and Interaction
- China: State Formation and Urbanization
- The Central Andean Region in Prehistory
- The Mediterranean and its Hinterland
- The Archaeology of Sub-Saharan Africa
- Pre-Islamic Central Asia
- The Circumpolar Zone
- East Asia
- The Pacific Islands
- North America
- South American Archaeology
- Indigenous Voices, Archaeology, and the Issue of Repatriation
- Sex and Gender
- Archaeological Representation: the Consumption and Creation of the Past
- Community Archaeology
- Subject Index
- Index of Personal Names: Includes all referenced authors.
Abstract and Keywords
This article examines the collection of archaeological data by excavation. It points out that in order for the raw data of artefacts and other material remains to be useful to archaeologists, they need to have been structured through excavation. It explains that the excavation of a site without record of the associations of the artefacts with their structural levels and sequence of deposition will rob the cultural materials of much of the value they have as evidence of the society that created, used, and discarded them. It discusses the factors considered in the selection of sites and the processed involved in excavating the site.
Roger White is Senior Lecturer and Deputy Director, Institute of Archaeology and Antiquity, University of Birmingham.
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