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grid
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: grid unit
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A system of perpendicular lines and equally spaced points to form a rectangle which is used as a frame of locational reference on an archaeological sites. A grid is usually defined by its distance and direction in reference to a datum point. Excavations units are often planned and recorded by grid. Grids are often aligned with either the anticipated site layout or with a landform upon which the site sits. Many archaeological sites are surveyed by measuring from a grid enclosing the site. It is a rectilinear system of X, Y coordinates which is established over the area to be excavated so that spatial control can be maintained.
grid amplitude
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A method of defining the location of features and artifacts on a site by plotting from a reference point oriented to magnetic north or some other known point. Meridian lines run north-south and baselines run east-west on a grid square.
grid layout
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: grid system, grid method, box system, grid planning
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: The practice of dividing an archaeological site into squares for ease of recording features and objects during excavation. The term also refers to the two-dimensional intersecting network defining the squares in which archaeologists dig; usually set out with strings, stakes, and a transit. Often a square trench will be cut within each grid square, separated by a balk from each neighboring trench. Each square is suitable for excavation by two or three people. Advantages of the method are in the creation of a number of readily available sections on the site, the ease of spoil removal (along the balk), and the control which can be exercised over excavators. On open sites with little stratigraphy above the rock surface, the method is often unnecessary. The balks in the grid method may also obscure many of the important stratigraphical relationships, or make impossible the recognition of structures. This technique allows the fast recording of very large areas, but is not as accurate as triangulation for the pinpointing of small objects and features. The use of grid planning and triangulation together often satisfies most of the combined needs of speed and accuracy.
griddle
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: A flat ceramic plate used in the final stage of detoxifying manioc. After grating and pulping, thin disks of manioc are baked on the griddle into a kind of unleavened bread. Although there are other methods of preparation, use of the griddle is especially common in northeastern South American contexts, where the artifact signifies agricultural practice.
site grid
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A set of regularly spaced intersecting north-south and east-west lines, usually marked by stakes, providing the basic reference system for recording horizontal provenience (coordinates) within a site.
time-space grid
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A method synthesizing temporal and spatial distributions of data and used in the culture historical approach based on period sequences within culture areas.
Wheeler box-grid
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: An excavation technique developed by Sir Robert Eric Mortimer Wheeler from the work of General Pitt-Rivers. It involved the retaining of intact balks of earth between excavation grid squares so that different stratigraphic layers could be correlated across the site in the vertical profiles.

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