requires us to do six things:
Excavate on a large scale
Integrate data from excavations in several parts of the same
Quantify the data and publish them in detail
Focus on close stratigraphic analysis
Examine the use of space and how it changed through time
Make extensive use of natural-science techniques
Iron Age excavations in western Sicily meet some of these goals,
but we hope to be the first to meet all of them.
Stanford team typically has about 50 members, most of them staying
in Salemi for the full season (normally mid-June through early August).
Most team members are Stanford undergraduates, but a significant
minority comes from other universities in the US, Italy, and other
countries, and volunteers from Salemi and neighboring towns. Since
2000 we have had team members from the US, Italy, Canada, Britain,
Spain, Sweden, Norway, Germany, Latvia, and India. The trench supervisors
are mostly graduate students.
have laid out a 5 x 5 meter grid across the site on a north-south
axis. Excavation normally begins with 4 x 4 meter trenches in the
southwest corner of each 5 x 5 meter square, leaving 1-meter wide
balks along the north and east edges. Each trench has a supervisor
and a team of 2 or 3 excavators. We then modify the grid plan to
respond to the features uncovered, excavating rooms or defined activity
areas as complete contexts.
excavation is stratigraphy-driven. Information is entered onto standardized
context sheets. Each trench also keeps a notebook and makes entry
into a video diary on alternate days. Every member of the trench
team takes turns in filling out context sheets and making entries
in the notebook and video diary. At the end of each week there is
a site tour, when the trench supervisors describe their weeks
progress to the entire team.
are recorded in Arcview by Leica Totalstations and a GPS system.
Stratigraphic profiles are recorded on paper. Each trench has its
own layer numbering sequence, and the separate sequences are coordinated
and phased through Harris matrices (one for each zone). Measured
sketch plans of every deposit are entered on the context sheets
every day, and significant deposits are manually planned in greater
detail on paper as well as digitally mapped. Paper plans are recorded
at 1: 20. Photographs are taken digitally and on conventional film.
The originals are stored in California and copies of all documentation
are deposited with the Soprintendenza di Archeologia in Trapani.
closed deposits are dry-sieved through a 5-millimeter mesh, and
flotation samples are collected. Pollen and macrofossil densities
are low at Monte Polizzo, so samples are normally largeat
least 10 liters whenever possible. In 2002 we began taking micromorphology
of finds, cleaning, restoration, drawing, and analysis are done
in a lab at the Dig House in Salemi. The artifacts are recorded
in a computer database, linked to the Arcview database and photo
publish annual preliminary reports in English in the Memoirs
of the American Academy in Rome (beginning with volume 46, 2001)
and in Italian in Sicilia Archeologica (beginning with volume
35, 2002). These reports are on this website [See
Wheeler, Archaeology from the Earth (London 1954)
Orton, Sampling in Archaeology (Cambridge 1999)
Roskams, Excavation (Cambridge 2001)
Lucas, Critical Approaches to Fieldwork (London 2001)