Integrating excavation and analysis on urban excavations: developing elegant methods for integrated systems and methodologies for the excavation and analysis of urban sites

Chiz Harward (Urban Archaeology)

For the last 40 years the excavation of urban sites has increasingly been characterised by the use of single context recording; for the last 25 years the post-excavation analysis of these sites has been increasingly characterised by a system of aggregation into larger stratigraphic groups (context<subgroup<group<landuse). These systems have been increasingly integrated with digital recording systems, databases and GIS systems. It is a testament to the logic and rigour of the original processes that they generally work very well within the digital systems that have been developed.

This paper will outline some current approaches to excavation and post-excavation used within London. It will highlight the role of databases and GIS, and will explore how we can integrate the excavation processes and recording systems to achieve better results on site and in post-excavation. The paper will also outline how we may increasingly utilise modern technology on site to facilitate these systems and enable the archaeologists on site make better use of their time, and make more informed decisions about the excavation process.

Video by Doug Rocks-Macqueen, originally posted on his blog.

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