SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: horizontal (area) excavation CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: The excavation of a site to reveal its horizontal extent.Such an excavation is designed to uncover large areas of a site, especially settlement layouts.SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: extensive excavation, open excavation, open-area excavation CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: A method of excavation in which the full horizontal extent of a site is cleared and large areas are open while preserving a in the balks between large squares. This method is often used to uncover houses and prehistoric settlement patterns.

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Removal of the topsoil will either be carried out by hand or machine.

After an initial plan has been made of all visible features before excavation, digging proceeds according to the dictates of the site: sections may be taken across areas of feature intersection, or across individual features.

It is a little used method with the introduction of technology.

SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: vertical excavation CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: Excavation of a site to reveal its vertical extent, with relatively little breadth.

It is the excavation of as large an area as possible without the intervention of balks and a grid system.

This technique allows the recognition of much slighter traces of ancient structures than other methods.

The first decision is whether to excavate a site at all, a question of particular interest when sites are being rapidly destroyed by farming methods and road and town building.

The nature and scale of the undertaking is the next decision.

If time and/or money is short, sampling of the site may be all that is possible.

If a large-scale excavation is to be undertaken, the approach will be either area (open) excavation, grid method, , rabotage, sondage, etc.

Excavations have shown considerable variation in the layout of abbeys depending on the different monastic orders.