Archaeology is a meticulous and exacting profession where extensive math skills are employed on a daily basis. As it is a destructive process in and of itself, information must be carefully recorded throughout the excavation to give context to artifacts and features uncovered, and to help archaeologists tell the complete story of their findings. Provenience is of the utmost importance Provenience refers to the context of an artifact; where it was found, what layer of soil, its proximity to features and otherr archaeologically significant cultural material. Not unlike area codes, Canada is divided into Borden numbers. Each time a site is excavated the corresponding borden number is associated with all documents and artifacts discovered at the site. The Borden number identifies the provenience of an artifact and site. Without provenience, significance of artifacts lost therefore information about soils, items found where in soils etc must be recorded along the way.

Once a historical assessment of a potential site is completed, archaeologists lay out a grid for the projected excavation site. A survey of the area is completed and as units are placed with the site arcaheolog Read More
Archaeology is a meticulous and exacting profession where extensive math skills are employed on a daily basis. As it is a destructive process in and of itself, information must be carefully recorded throughout the excavation to give context to artifacts and features uncovered, and to help archaeologists tell the complete story of their findings. Provenience is of the utmost importance Provenience refers to the context of an artifact; where it was found, what layer of soil, its proximity to features and otherr archaeologically significant cultural material. Not unlike area codes, Canada is divided into Borden numbers. Each time a site is excavated the corresponding borden number is associated with all documents and artifacts discovered at the site. The Borden number identifies the provenience of an artifact and site. Without provenience, significance of artifacts lost therefore information about soils, items found where in soils etc must be recorded along the way.

Once a historical assessment of a potential site is completed, archaeologists lay out a grid for the projected excavation site. A survey of the area is completed and as units are placed with the site arcaheologists usea variety of mathematical practices to to carefully record where each excavation unit is placed.

In 2005, the Cataraqui Archaeological Research Foundation completed the excavation of Market Square. Using the map and data provided, you will complete the necessary calcualtions to place three excavation units on the grid in market square.

Materials Needed:

  • Calculator with sin and cos buttons
  • Two tables of data
  • Diagrams of explanations with formulas
  • Printed copy of the Market Square map with grid overlay

Using data from the Cataraqui Archaeological Research Foundation's 2005 Market Square excavation, found in the digital assets, complete the following question:

Part 1

Calculate the distance for each of the four corners of the three excavation units using the formula provided.

Part 2

Using the distances calculated in part one and the data provided, calculate the coordinates for x and y using the formula’s provided.

Part 3

Place the x and y coordinates on the map of Market Square and connect the lines to create the excavation units.

© 2007, Cataraqui Archaeological Research Foundation. All Rights Reserved.

Cataraqui Archaeological Research Foundation
Jonas Fernandez, Jennifer Stanton, Hannah Roth

© 2007, Cataraqui Archaeological Research Foundation. All Rights Reserved.


Cataraqui Archaeological Research Foundation
Jonas Fernandez, Jennifer Stanton, Hannah Roth

© 2007, Cataraqui Archaeological Research Foundation. All Rights Reserved.


Learning Objectives

  1. Using data (fabricated, created for the purpose of the project) provided, students will triangulate the units to place at Market Square.

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