Methods, Techniques, Interpretations and Field Examples
Part III Excavating the Garden: Bringing the Garden to Light 195
Part III Excavating the Garden: Bringing the Garden to Light The third part of the volume is the core of the handbook, as it provides methodological considerations and techniques for carrying out the dig. It follows the rationale of Part II, that is, to engage excavators to adapt the information provided by the authors to their own context and invent their own methodology. Kathryn Gleason was asked to use her expertise at garden excavations in the Old World to discuss the constraints and the issues that archaeologists might face during a dig. As Gleason states, “Garden archaeology is just good dirt archaeology,” yet specific modifications need to be discussed. The author describes in four chapters the different stages of the excavation by stressing how digging exterior spaces – gardens – differs from conventional practice. The first chapter explains the main concerns that an archaeologist should be aware of before starting a garden excavation. Materiality (dirt is artifact and context), Scale (gardens can cover very large areas), and Levels (gardens’ surfaces are never perfectly level) are the three main aspects that differentiate gardens from architectural remains, orient the excavation, and therefore, demand a specific strategy. The second chapter details the dig itself, following the key steps of an excavation starting from the different types of baulks and trenches, to the delicate phase of locating and identifying the garden layer and the surface features, to discussing situations where the garden surface is not preserved. It concludes with advice on the field recording system that...
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