BAJR Federation Archaeology
The next question: recording - Printable Version

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The next question: recording - Dinosaur - 21st October 2013

Also kinda tricky to fill in on site?


The next question: recording - Jack - 21st October 2013

As with all science, the reasons and evidence for any interpretation of the measured data is vitally important, as is a quantification/assessment of sources of error.

So yeah, PP. I agree wholeheartedly with your post. :face-stir:

Too many archaeologists are obsessed with stating what something is.....a 'pit', a 'hearth', a 'tree-throw hole', a 'boundary ditch'..........without a thought as to why they think it is that or what the evidence for that conclusion is.
This applies equally to the all important formation processes.

And absolutely, every 'definition' archaeologists create is artificial, be it the transition from the mesolithic to the neolithic, or the interface between deposit 2022 and 2021. These boundaries help us to order the data and in the end get closer to an understanding of the thing we are measuring.

But it is very important to remember these definitions are just constructs and are not the thing we are measuring itself.

In my humble opinion, a context sheet is a tool for recording not interpretation.
Don't get me wrong, the digger's thoughts, feelings and interpretations should be recorded on the sheet along with all the cross-referencing of numbers and evidences for the why's and all other such data.........
But a site should be interpreted from the collective data, which will not be apparent until your dates come back from the lab or your specialist reports return.


The next question: recording - Dinosaur - 21st October 2013

Jack Wrote:Too many archaeologists are obsessed with stating what something is.....a 'pit', a 'hearth', a 'tree-throw hole', a 'boundary ditch'...

And yet, when confronted with a grave I'd imagine you'll task someone to dig it carefully and in plan rather that hacking half out with a mattock to record the section?


The next question: recording - Jack - 22nd October 2013

Dinosaur Wrote:And yet, when confronted with a grave I'd imagine you'll task someone to dig it carefully and in plan rather that hacking half out with a mattock to record the section?
Aye, so......?


The next question: recording - P Prentice - 22nd October 2013

archaeology is not a science primarily because the intrepetation starts contentiously before you retrieve the data and certainly whilst you are retrieving it. the record is de facto intrepretation so lets stop pretending otherwise.


The next question: recording - Dinosaur - 22nd October 2013

Jack Wrote:Aye, so......?

Meaning you've already interpreted it as 'grave' before digging it...


The next question: recording - Jack - 23rd October 2013

P Prentice Wrote:archaeology is not a science primarily because the intrepetation starts contentiously before you retrieve the data and certainly whilst you are retrieving it. the record is de facto intrepretation so lets stop pretending otherwise.

As it does in other sciences. For instance............

Chemistry when applying tests to identify compounds.
Forensic crime scene investigation
Fire investigation
Ecology/Biology e.g. species surveys, animal behavior studies
Climatology - for instance surveying for and coring mossbanks in the arctic circle

etc etc ad nauseum.

Really I don't know where this idea that 'science' involves no interpretation or cold hard facts comes from?

And to Dino........yeah, so what. The methodology changes with respect to the available data, don't see a problem with that one, as long as their is evidence and the change in methodology is stated and taken into account with respect to distribution plots/ stats etc.


The next question: recording - Tool - 25th October 2013

P Prentice Wrote:the record is de facto intrepretation so lets stop pretending otherwise.

Cobblers, to coin a phrase. A wall is a wall is a wall. A skeleton is a skeleton. I would even, hesitantly, say a ditch is a ditch. And anyone who takes the interpretation of anything as fact without there being a bucket-load of corroborating evidence will be forcefully tutted at.


The next question: recording - P Prentice - 28th October 2013

Tool Wrote:A wall is a wall is a wall. A skeleton is a skeleton. I would even, hesitantly, say a ditch is a ditch.
except when they are not!


The next question: recording - BAJR - 31st October 2013

Smile

Quote:A wall is a wall is a wall. A skeleton is a skeleton. I would even, hesitantly, say a ditch is a ditch.

So a table is a table a chair is a chair. you sit on a chair and put things on a table, unless you put things on the chair and sit on the table? and a chair has 4 legs. unless it has 3 or perhaps 2 or be a tubular funky thing... er... ah...

describe what you see... divide your interpretation from the description.

I see a linear V shaped cut running 34m e-w across the site with an average depth of 0.56m - 0.72m with steeply sloping sides and distint upper edge. the feature is 1.23m across at the top ...etc............................

Discussion .... I think it is a ditch, as it has theis and that and forms a boundary with this, while respecting that, and teh lower fill was organic sludge etc....


A ditich is only a ditch when you call it one. is it what they meant it to be?