Documenting Foundations

Archaeology is a destructive science.  Once a unit is excavated the information that one can garner from the soils is also removed.  Therefore, archaeologists write extensive notes, take many photographs, and create scale drawings.  As we are beginning to wrap up our excavations for the summer our efforts switch from digging to documentation.

One thing archaeologists document is called profiles.  Profiles are the vertical walls of the excavation units or other features.  Documenting profiles show the relationships between the soil levels and other man-made features.  Below are images of a couple of the profiles that we have documented.


Profile showing foundation wall (right) and destruction level with wood in situ (left)

Profile showing foundation wall (right) and destruction level with wood in situ (left)


Profile showing extent of foundation wall running roughly East-West

Profile showing extent of foundation wall running roughly East-West


In addition to profiles, archaeologists also document the progress of their excavations; especially when unusual soils or features are present.  Below are photos of in situ wood siding that were encountered during excavations.  Note how more of the wood was uncovered with more excavations as well as the location of the wood near the corner of the foundation.


In situ wood

In situ wood


In situ wood

In situ wood