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Sourcebook for Garden Archaeology

Methods, Techniques, Interpretations and Field Examples


Edited By Amina-Aïcha Malek

The Sourcebook for Garden Archaeology addresses the increasing need among archaeologists, who discover a garden during their own excavation project, for advice and update on current issues in garden archaeology. It also aims at stimulating broader interest in garden archaeology. Archaeologists with no specific training in garden archaeology will read about specific problems of soil archaeology with a handful of well-developed techniques, critical discussions and a number of extremely different uses. Methods are described in sufficient detail for any archaeologist to engage into field work, adapt them to their own context and develop their own methodology. While the Sourcebook aims at bringing together different disciplines related to garden archaeology and providing an overview of present knowledge, it also hopes to encourage development of new directions for the future.


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Part II Preliminary Questions and Investigations 95


Part II Preliminary Questions and Investigations The second part of the volume vividly illustrates the need for any archaeologist interested in engaging in garden archaeology to a primary question: how can a nondestructive survey be carried out before planning further investigation? Kathryn L. Gleason and Mark P. Leone are two highly experienced garden archaeologists who have conducted research in very different historical and geographical discuss in the first chapter the best strategies in using non-destructive techniques to identify and record garden features both on the surface and beneath it. The next two chapters, one by Bruce Bevan and Rinata Dalan, the other by Lawrence Conyers, concern the choice of instruments for geophysical investigation of the site before choosing to engage in destructive approaches. These are not the only nondestructive approaches for garden archaeologists, as we shall highlight in the introduction to the next part, but they can be very useful for investigating a garden. There are problems, however: these are techniques that vary from very inexpensive to very expensive; moreover, they can yield very different levels of confidence, depending upon the pedological, hydrological, and vegetal conditions on site. Any specialist knows that what the differences in appreciation of ground penetrating radar between the two chapters illuminates is the fact that any specialist also depends upon his or her own field experience. Both chapters provide a wealth of information that may help make the first choices, depending on economic constraints and the pedological and hydrological context. They will also help archaeologists...

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