Archaeological Excavation by J. P. Droop

By J. P. Droop

J. P. suspend (1882-1963) used to be a classical box archaeologist. After graduating from Trinity collage, Cambridge, in 1904 he labored as a box archaeologist for the British tuition at Athens, and was once appointed Chair of Classical Archaeology at Liverpool collage in 1914. This quantity used to be meant as a consultant to sensible archaeological excavation and was once first released in 1915 as a part of the Cambridge Archaeological and Ethnological sequence. on the time of booklet, archaeology was once beginning to develop into a extra clinical and educational self-discipline, as should be noticeable in Droop's arguments at the significance of archaeological context and data of stratification on web site. the improvement of excavation as a scientifically dependent perform is proven by way of the emphasis on making plans of the location, unlike prior courses to excavation. This quantity offers insights into the improvement of the idea in addition to the perform of archaeology.

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One particularly bitter disappointment we met with there, on visiting a site known to us as having been partially worked a few years before. The undug portion was fairly extensive and looked very hopeful with traces of walls appearing and with prehistoric island pottery lying thickly over a good area, but our hopes were dashed by the discovery of one of those round spaces where the Greeks of to-day use the ox, unscripturally muzzled, to tread out their corn; often these floors are paved, but this one was cut down to the living rock only six inches below the surface.

Besides these, a crowbar or two, a sledge hammer, a few sieves and some rope are indispensable. Indispensable also are a dumpy level, and a prismatic compass, of which the use is chiefly to take one bearing for any plan to find magnetic. I do not agree with the view that the archaeologist should trouble himself with true north unless he wants to fit his plan on to an existing map, a rare event. True north except in the case of temples 40 THE OUTFIT AND ITS USE [CH. and stone circles is quite immaterial, and if the work done is dated can always be obtained by any one interested.

This method of photography however should not be used for anything that can be got to stand in its right position; this may entail much trouble but is worth the trouble, for only so can the really natural lighting be got. This question of natural lighting is very important, and particularly so in the case of reliefs, which should never be photographed upside down with the chief light coming from below, however much the best detail seems to demand light from that direction; much may be done by means of a simple reflector of white paper, or by flashing a mirror, but if the relief be photographed upside down almost certainly the picture seen right side up will look like an intaglio.

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