A Glossary of Archaeological
An artifact is something found at a site that is
made, used or modified by people.
A bastion is a protrusion from a fort corner or
wall that allows people inside the fort to fire along the outside
perimeter of the fort. Therefore, no one can stand close to the wall (to
burn or undermine it or try to climb over it) without being subject to
direct fire from another portion of the wall.
A ceramic is a type of pottery made from clay that
has been fired. It usually has a glaze applied to it and may be colored
A feature is the remnant of human activity that
cannot be removed from a site. It may be a post mark, building
foundation, fire pit, cellar, trench, etc.
A layer of an excavation. It may be caused by natural
forces as a geologic strata or it may be caused by man such as a layer
of burned debris. Layers are numbered from top to bottom.
The part of a bottle where it narrows down between
the main body of the bottle and the rim or opening.
A row of pointed stakes or posts forming a
defensive barrier of a fort or redoubt.
The stain or irregularity left in soil from the
placement of a post. It may include remnants of the post itself or
simply a discoloration from a filled in hole made by the post.
A defensive position outside of a fort used to
slow the enemies advance and keep them out of range of a fort.
A broken piece of pottery or ceramic.
A place where people carried on some activity and
left behind material clues of their stay.
A Shovel Test Probe is a small hole (about shovel
width or diameter) that is dug into the ground to search for artifacts
and features. It usually goes down to a feature (if there is one there)
or to undisturbed soil of the era one is searching for.
A defensive wall of a fort made by placing posts
side-by-side in the ground in an upright position. A stockade usually is
made from digging a trench, placing posts in the trench and then filling
the trench with dirt or rocks or trash to hold the posts upright. The
trench is a "feature" with "post marks" in it. [Note: some fort walls
are made of logs laid horizonally from the ground up to a desired
portective height. These leave no marks below the surface of the earth.]
An area larger than a STP that is dug to investigate
a feature. It usually measures about four feet by four feet or one meter