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Excavation Skills!
Dirty Dave Lincoln Wrote:I've heard this one 'tree bowl/bole' been used as well, though trying to explain to some people that just because a dead feature has had a tree/bush sinking its roots through it doesn't mean it was not a real feature in the first place!!

I remember a case from a couple of years ago where there was a 'tree bole' surrounded by a circle of post-holes. The team on site said that it was an entirely natural feature, and basically had to be told to dig it. Red faces all round when, after much moaning about how it was pointless and a waste of time, excavation of the supposedly 'natural' feature produced a very fine beaker!
You know Marcus. He once got lost in his own museum
Though this one will come with experience.....knowing when an old lag is winding you up!
Explanation of 'hench'

It was also explained to me that this isn't necessarily only applicable to those with a well defined six-pack, (hurrah!!) apparently you can also be a fat old pot bellied bastard and still defined as 'hench (more hurrah!!)....
With peace and consolation hath dismist, And calm of mind all passion spent...
Seems to cover every shape and sized digger I've ever come across!Wink
Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, Merlot in one hand, Cigar in the other; body thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and screaming "WOO HOO, what a ride!
having just had a quick glance through this thread. i think that possibly the most important thing to impart to your students is that having a degree is all well and good but this is just the beginning and you will not earn any browny points for expecting to run your own site as soon as you leave uni. learn the basics. ie how to trowel, how to distinguish layers/fills etc.. and to know your arse from a hole in the ground... the rest will come with experience. rather like driving. the test is only the beginning and lets face it no one likes a boy racer do they??? a little knowledge...blah blah blah. the more you learn the more you know that you don't know it all. and any way where's the fun in being a know it all. LEARN THE BASICS.Smile
Jack Wrote:A tree bole is the root and trunk (bottom of the trunk I think).

Not all tree-related feature is created by a tree falling over. Some trees/shrubs boles are pulled/dug out or burnt out.

I have even seen tree boles (stumps) being blasted out of the ground with slow-dynamite (I have interesting relatives!)

I've also heard tree grub-hole (my favourite).

I'm so sad that when on holiday/ going for walks I love investigating modern tree-throws and grub-holes. I've seen some that scarily look like dug pits where a tree with a certain root structure falls in such a way that the whole root bole comes out of the ground leaving a negative feature with fairly good edges all the way round......xx(

Think this explains some of the confusing conversations I've been involved in in the office over the years (including with Jack).

A tree bole is, as Jack has intimated, basically the bottom of the tree in its still-wooden format.

A tree bowl (aka tree-throw) is the bowl-shaped hole left after you've finished digging the mess made by the thing falling over and then rotting away or whatever.

In my book, on gravels and sands, and to a lesser extent on other subsoils (whatever they are!), the classice tree bowl/throw shows as a rough oval filled in the centre by deeper subsoil pulled-up by the main roots as the tree goes over and then eroded down into a heap, a thin crescent of darker soil representing the former ground-surface tipped on edge around the edge on the side towards which the tree fell and forced into the ground as it went over, and a much wider soily bit in the end that the tree fell from, representing silty of the hole left by the thing going over - amazes me how often thats the only bit people bother to dig and resulting in all those mystery crescent/banana-shaped features that litter site archives. Years back I worked on a big villa-landscape where I spent a couple of days working out the fall-direction of all the former trees on site, which identified an unsuspected Roman tree-lined avenue which had all fallen the same way (single storm?), no idea if that ever appeared in the final report though (if it's even published yet)
Being able to communicate with the rest of a site crew and knowing when to ask for a second oppinion.
Teach that a "site" is the 'big picture': they came, they built (however they did it), they lived there (for however long and with however many phases, extensions etc), then they left (catastrophically, calmly, slowly over time, or in echelonned steps, however...) - leaving the buildings and holes to collapse, be subject to recuperation, de demolished etc. And help them to start recognizing these phases. Learning to dig microstratigraphically is great. Not being able to get your head out of the hole and see the 'site' (and so perhaps relativise a little the importance of your local microstrat problem in the great scheme of things) is less so.
Drifting away from things we can do as practical exercies or as a classroom based workshop.
makapanman Wrote:Drifting away from things we can do as practical exercies or as a classroom based workshop.

Well perhaps not so much. Understanding the basic building blocks of what a site is, is basic archaeological "theory" ( without moving into the realms of higher "theory"). Surprisingly however, I have met numerous early practitioners (undoubtedly was one) having difficulty fighting their way out of the maze of local matrices, to see that the "story" is perhaps not necessarily so complicated, and is dominated by a few really key relationships ( or not, depending on the site...). And part of the problem, is that they are not seeing the 'big picture": construction, occupation, re-construction,.....abandon, d?molition.....etc , - wood for trees. Practical exercises - off the top of head - would be, to provide a significant data set : have the students draw the matrix, attribute construction, occupation etc to the matrix, give the students the dating material, and get them to tell the diachronique story of the site.

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