English » Field Projects » Tell Nader Project » Methodology

Written by Dr. Konstantinos Kopanias.

The excavation in Tell Nader was conducted with the open area method, which means that the excavation was done through natural stratigraphic layers on a larger scale without maintaining bulk walls. We excavated in natural/stratigraphic layers, not arbritrary ones. All features (i.e.non-portable artifacts that cannot be removed from the ground without altering or destroying their original form) and artifact concentrations received a unique Unit (i.e. Locus) number. Each trench master used following form for the documentation.

From almost all excavated units we collected three separate soil samples: one for archaeobotany and environmental sampling, one for mineralogical analysis, and one for the identification of insects. For the flotation samles, Dr. Alexandra Livarda prepared following form:

The relation of the Units to each other was recorded in a Harris Matrix. Here's the Harris Matrix of the excavation season 2011 in Tell Nader:

All Units and all finds have been recorded in a Database, which we designed and developed in MS-Access, especially for the project. Nevertheless, we decided to migrate to the Integrated Archaeological Database, an excellent open-source archaeological database, which we are currently customizing to fit into the needs of our project.

We used a Total Station to take measurements for our plans. We measured the coordinates of all interesting finds: decorated pottery, good-quality lithics, animal bones, objects etc.

Finally, thanks to the use of the Total Station and the Database, we were able to plot all finds on the excavation map. This allows us to make queries to both, which is very helpful for the analysis of the excavation data.