The extent of documentation varied considerably in 'historical' cultures and the information that survives is determined by a variety of factors.
If a context containing burnt debris and broken artefacts is excavated on a site from a historical period, it is tempting to search the local historical framework for references to warfare or a disaster in the region, and to date the excavated context accordingly.
It is often slow and tedious work which involves digging down a centimeter at a time, but can also be backbreaking, difficult toil, shoveling through meters of densely packed soil.
But the purpose is the same in either case, to reveal the types of human activities that took place at a site over time.
As a definition, excavation is simply the controlled exploration of what lies below the surface, usually carried out systematically in gridded trenches with shovel and trowel.It is always good practice, therefore, to take a wide range of samples of any datable material during excavation, so that there will be maximum potential for a dating programme afterwards.Ideally, materials used should complement each other and provide a means of cross-checking.The journal provides an international forum for archaeologists and scientists from widely different scientific backgrounds who share a common interest in developing and applying scientific methods to inform major debates through improving the quality and reliability of scientific information derived from archaeological research.is interested in papers that are:• Presenting major advances in scientific methods and techniques in archaeology• Showcasing innovative science• Shaping global debates• Addressing questions of broad significance• Describing studies with far-reaching applicability.Seriation was developed in the USA to place in order finds from strata or other kinds of assemblages such as potsherds collected from the surface of sites.