Excavation Area Reports: Overview

In addition to the daily recording protocols, each area supervisor must produce both brief interim reports of progress and a final report at the end of the season. The final report is NOT just a summary of the interim reports, but a fresh and final take on the season’s excavations in a particular excavation area. Include the sections prescribed below, some of which is embedded in the Interim Report and Final Report template files

Composition of Report Text #

  • Keep description as separate as possible from interpretation in your writing (with the understanding that all excavation activities require acts of interpretation)
  • Refer to context numbers explicitly
  • Abbreviate spatial context (SC), group context (GC), and approximate context (AC) after each of their first uses
    • In place of SC, GC, and AC, always use more specific colloquial or simple names for all features and deposits when possible
    • For example, use wall 97.541.24 or fill 109.523.67
  • Put context names and numbers (as well as sample numbers) in bold at their first mention and capitalize the simple name only at the beginning of a sentence; thereafter refer to contexts by their simple name and context number (excluding the area ID, e.g., wall 24, fill 67)
    • For example, in a description section, you might write, “removal of fill 109.523.67 revealed the presence of a new wall (109.523.68). Wall 68 was clearly delineated from fill 67 by its schist fieldstone construction.”
  • Mention approximate contexts or other noteworthy samples when their contexts are described (bolding the simple name and sample number at the first usage)
  • For descriptive sections…
    • Proceed in the order of excavation WITHIN DEFINED SPATIAL AREAS. Begin with discussion of topsoil removal for the whole area, if relevant, but then describe excavation progress according to architecturally (or otherwise) defined spaces. [Do not describe progress hour by hour, context by context, etc., if the work was spread across the entire excavation area.]
    • Use subheadings as you feel appropriate (especially for spatially defined areas)
    • Describe each feature or deposit fully at an appropriate place in the narrative, usually at its first mention, including its location among and relationship to any overlying or abutting deposits, surfaces, or features; horizontal and vertical dimensions; shape; orientation; manufacture; whether it was fully or partially preserved, etc.
    • Embed relevant photographs, plans, and drawings in the file and give them figure numbers (see below).
    • Describe the rationale for any grouping of contexts
  • For interpretive sections…
    • Proceed in the order of site formation, grouped into chronostratigraphic phases (0 = topsoil; 1 is the latest phase, just beneath topsoil; 2 is beneath 1, etc.)
    • Use integers (1, 2, 3) for primary architectural (or otherwise spatially defined) phases and alphabetic characters (1a, 1b, 1c) for subphases, both in top-down order.
      • Note that floors and other surfaces should be grouped with the phase/subphase immediately overlying them rather than that lying beneath them.
    • ​​​Provide specific explanations of evidence for your interpretations​, referring back to the samples and/or relationships between contexts described in the description section

Figures #

  • Embed figures in the MS word file to help explain the text.
    • Do not include figures for *every* spatial context, but only for clearly identified (and significant) features and samples
    • Number the figures sequentially (Figure 1, Figure 2, etc.), and cite the figure in the actual text.​
    • Use the best image available from your “Record photos” (with scale bars and north arrows, unless you don’t have them for some reason).
      • If multiple views of equal explanatory quality are available, always privilege images looking north.
    • For the purposes of space, scale the image proportionally so that the width of each image is half the A4 page width (minus the margins).
  • Copy the full-resolution images to a Figures folder within your report folder named in the following way: 97_541_figures
    • Label the full-resolution images in the following way: fig_03_97_541_123.jpg​ (where fig_03 refers to Figure 3 in the current report and 97_541_123 is the full context ID (extend this as appropriate for samples)
  • When saving your MS word file, select the “Reduce file size…” option to make sure that the full resolution images do not remain a part of the MS word file (and only in the separate folder).

Day Plans #

  • Follow the Digitizing Protocol to produce day plans for every day since the previous report (final report folders should include a single, batched PDF of all day plans from the season)
  • ​Use the standard template for each plan (at the same scale and position (that is, do not move the frame between plans)
  • ​Contexts should be labeled by context ID (area.context) and should display an appropriate number of significant and properly labeled elevation points
    • ​Non-contiguous and sequential spatial contexts can be included on the same plan
    • ​Overlapping spatial contexts must be included on separate plans
    • In situ features (e.g., walls), should be repeated on all plans subsequent to their first appearance
  • Compile individual day plans into a single, multi-page PDF for each report

Abstracts #

  • ​​​​For each report, write a c. 500-word abstract that provides a full overview of the content of the report (for final reports, these must cover the entire season). Include overall goals, a description of the major features of the area (citing context and sample numbers, as appropriate), and reference to insights and/or conclusions deriving from specialists’ analysis of materials coming from the area (ceramic, small find, botanical, and/or faunal).

Powered by BetterDocs