Chapter 4: Excavations, Archaeological Stratigraphy, and Cultural Components

By Michlovic, Michael G. | Plains Anthropologist, November 2005 | Go to article overview

Chapter 4: Excavations, Archaeological Stratigraphy, and Cultural Components


Michlovic, Michael G., Plains Anthropologist


EXCAVATION AND CULTURAL COMPONENTS

Excavations at the Rustad site were conducted in three areas (see Figure 1.4 in Chapter 1), each consisting of a number of adjacent 1 × 2 m units. Area 1 was in the southeastern portion of the quarry pit and comprised about 112 m^sup 2^. Area 2 on the west side of the quarry included about 40 m^sup 2^. Area 3 was made up of 14 m^sup 2^ placed in the northeastern wall of the quarry. It consisted of two disjunct portions of the eastern wall of the quarry, called 3 A (north) and 3B (south). Two units helped to determine the eastern and southern site boundaries; XU-8 in the southern and central portion of the quarry, and XU-80, opposite a gully on the eastern side of the site, were culturally sterile units. The western boundary is a deep ravine immediately west of Area 2, and the northern boundary is visible in the eastern quarry wall where the buried A horizons disappear, only a few meters south of the gravel road on the north side of the site.

Units were excavated in 5 cm levels, numbered sequentially from the beginning of each unit excavation. Levels were interrupted to conform to changes in natural stratigraphy. The exception to this was the excavation of units 1-11. These units were laid out on a grid the first season at the site (consisting of four days work). The cultural layers were shovel scraped and no levels maintained. The reasons for this are explained in the introduction.

The Rustad site contains three components. The major component is Early Archaic and consists of artifacts, bone, and features in Layers 5 and 6. It has an average radiocarbon age of about 7450 B.P. Paleoindian materials are present in much lower frequencies in the deeper Layer 9. This Paleoindian component may partially superimpose itself in a few units, a situation that is explained below. The Paleoindian is only found in Area 1, and it is dated to between 9000-8400 B.P. A Woodland component is recognized in eolian sands only in Area 2. This component has not been dated, but it is defined on the basis of two potsherds, a projectile point, lithic and bone debris, and an ash stain. The most important component, and the focus of the greatest archaeological effort at the site, was the Early Archaic. This component occurs in all three areas and in all units that contained cultural material (Figure 1.4).

STRATIGRAPHY (Figure 4.1)

Natural horizons and strata at the site were given archaeological layer designations (Table 4.1). This was done in each of the areas where excavations were conducted. Sandy and silty sediments above the occupation were designated Layers 1-4 based on color variations. Layer 1 was excavated in a few southern units in Area 1. Layers 2 and 3 were most commonly encountered above the main living floor. Layer 4 was a thin layer (l-2cm) found in some of the Area 1 units. None of these are believed to be culture-bearing layers, and the few artifacts and animal bones found in them were probably displaced from Layers 5 and 6. Layers 1-3 were generally removed without level control. Layer 4 was excavated and screened with normal controls since it was so close to the artifact-bearing levels. This procedure was adopted to save time for the excavation of the archaeologically rich layers below.

The main archaeological occupation was originally identified as Layer 5, a conclusion that later had to be modified. In places where Ab2 and Ab3 were recognized as separate, Ab2 was called Layer 5 and Ab3 was defined as Layer 6. After exposure Layer 5 in Area 1 appeared to have a dark gray color contrasting to the black or very dark gray color of Layer 6. In Areas 1 and 3 a Layer 5b was defined as the relatively thin, light colored (pale brown) and culturally poor layer between 5 and 6. In Area 1, Layer 5b was found in only a few units on the eastern side of the excavation, while it was observed in all units in Area 3. In most of Area 1, and all of Area 2 it was impossible to distinguish Layer 5 from 6 (Ab2 and Ab3).

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Chapter 4: Excavations, Archaeological Stratigraphy, and Cultural Components
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.