A Glossary of Archaeological Terms

Archaeology: The study of human antiquities both prehistoric and historic by excavation of cultural remains.

Archives: Two-dimensional historical primary documents

Artifact: Product of human workmanship, not naturally created.

Ecofact: Naturally produced item which has been utililized by humans.

Excavation: The uncovering or extraction of cultural remains by digging.

Mitigation: To reduce the severity of development impact through either or any combination of preservation, conservation or excavation of an archaeological site.

Salvage: Rescue of any property from development impact through excavation.

Significance: Level of importance of an archaeological site as determined through cultural, chronological, functional and locational  distinctness, historical personage association, site integrity and  research and educational potential.

Stratigraphy: Sequential layers of accumulated cultural and natural materials which archaeologists excavate and record.

Survey: To examine the condition of potential site.

Test: Examination of the qualities of a potential site through small scale excavation, normally part of an archaeological assessment.

Typology: A classified list of particular kinds of artifacts.
Excerpted in part from Kingston Archaeological Master Plan Study: Stage 1 Report published by the Cataraqui Archaeological Research Foundation.
Cataraqui Archaeological Research Foundation
Hannah Roth

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

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