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Jofrey Ngailo
Dec 21, 2023

Why excavation remain chief method in archaeology ?

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Dec 21, 2023
Excavation remains a chief method in archaeology for several reasons:

1. Preservation of artifacts: Excavation allows archaeologists to carefully uncover and recover artifacts and structures that have been buried over time. This helps in preserving these artifacts and preventing further deterioration or destruction.

2. Contextual information: Excavation provides valuable contextual information about the artifacts and structures found. By carefully documenting the location, orientation, and relationships between different objects, archaeologists can gain insights into the past human activities, social structures, and cultural practices.

3. Chronological understanding: Excavation helps in establishing a chronological sequence of events and understanding the timeline of human occupation at a particular site. By analyzing the different layers of soil and the artifacts found within them, archaeologists can determine the relative age of different artifacts and establish a timeline of human activity.

4. Stratigraphy: Excavation allows archaeologists to study stratigraphy, which is the study of layers of soil and sediment. By analyzing the different layers, archaeologists can understand the sequence of deposition and the changes that occurred over time. This helps in reconstructing the environmental and geological history of a site.

5. Uncovering hidden information: Excavation often reveals hidden or buried features that are not visible on the surface. This includes structures, foundations, burial sites, and other archaeological features that provide important information about past societies and cultures.

6. Material analysis: Excavation provides access to artifacts and materials that can be analyzed using various scientific techniques. This includes dating methods, chemical analysis, DNA analysis, and other scientific methods that help in understanding the composition, origin, and use of the artifacts.

While excavation is a crucial method in archaeology, it is important to note that it is not always the preferred or only method. Archaeologists also use non-invasive techniques such as remote sensing, ground-penetrating radar, and aerial surveys to gather information without disturbing the site. Additionally, ethical considerations and the preservation of cultural heritage often dictate the extent and scale of excavation.

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