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articular surface
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: The portion of a bone connecting with other bones.
bench surface
CATEGORY: feature
DEFINITION: The surface of a wide ledge in a pit structure or kiva that usually extends around at least three-fourths of the circumference of the structure and is often divided by pilasters.
biface
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: bifacial; handaxe; coup-de-poing
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: A type of prehistoric stone tool flaked on both faces or sides, the main tool of Homo erectus. The technique was typical of the hand-ax tradition of the Lower Paleolithic period and the Acheulian cultures. Biface may be oval, triangular, or almond-shaped in form and characterized by axial symmetry, even if marks made by use are more plentiful on one face or on one edge. The cutting edge could be straight or jagged and the tool used as a pick, knife, scraper, or even weapon. Only in the most primitive tools was flaking done to one side only.
biface bevel
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A bevel which was formed by removing flakes from both faces of an edge.
biface bevel flaking
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: This flaking technique involved the removal of elongate, steep, pressure or percussion flakes just opposite each other from an edge to form a biface bevel and often biface serrations.
biface serration flaking
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: This flaking technique involved the removal of elongate, not so steep, pressure or percussion flakes just opposite each other from an edge to form biface serrations.
biface thinning flake
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: A flake that has been removed from a biface through percussion as part of the reduction process. These flakes typically were removed from an unfinished biface (or blank) in order to make it thinner.
bulbar surface
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: The surface upon which the bulb of percussion occurs; another term for the entire ventral surface of an artifact
burin facet
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: The scar formed by the detachment of a burin spall
cleavage surface
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: cleavage plane
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A surface formed by a separation of the rock along a natural cleavage plane or crack, esp. on quartz crystals, slate, petrified wood
cost-surface analysis
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: The use of GIS software and digital landscape information such as slope and distance, fed into computer along with the figure of one hour for a 5-km walk on the surface that is used to do calculations, using built-in data on the energy cost of traversing different kinds of terrain.
early-stage biface
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: A biface in the initial step of manufacture, usually with sinuous edges and simple surface topography.
face
CATEGORY: feature
DEFINITION: The original outer surface; the part of a unit of stratification which would have been exposed, or in use as a surface.
face urn
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A jar with a human face, usually in appliqué technique, formed on the shoulder. The function of these vessels was often funerary. There are also flagons with faces molded on the neck.
feature interface
CATEGORY: feature
DEFINITION: Unit of stratification resulting from the destruction of pre-existing stratification, rather than by the deposition of soils.
horizontal feature interface
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: The area associated with upstanding units of stratification and marking the interfacial levels to which the units have been dug.
horizontal layer interface
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: The surface of a natural or manmade layer, a unit of stratification. It takes the layer number of the deposit with which it is associated.
interface
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: The point of contact between two layers or features in an excavation, stratigraphically important. An example is the point between the fill of a buried ditch and the soil through which it was dug.
interface of destruction
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: An abstract interface which records the areas of a given unit of stratification or period on a site which has been destroyed by later excavation or disturbance.
late-stage biface
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: A biface in the final step of manufacture, usually with relatively straight edges and complex surface topography.
multifaceted platform
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: A platform with more than one plane of detachment, such as on the margins of some bifaces or multidirectional cores.
obverse face
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: On a fluted projectile, it is the face from which the initial or primary flute was removed.
occupation surface
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: occupation floor
CATEGORY: feature
DEFINITION: Any surface used for human activities, such as a room floor, a stairway, or a walkway.
period interface
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: The composite interface of a number of units of stratification which make up the surface of a period.
recurrence surface
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: recurrence horizon
CATEGORY: geology
DEFINITION: A division in peat stratigraphy which separates well-humidified peat from unhumidified peat. Recurrence surfaces are found in raised bogs and blanket bogs which are nourished only by rainfall. It has therefore been suggested that recurrence surfaces are due to a change to damper climate. Recurrence surfaces of many dates have been found, often several in one bog, although not so many fitting into one age range. During the late prehistoric and early historic phases of the past 6,000 years, the peat bogs of northern Europe appear to have undergone a number of desiccations (warm, dry summers), revealed in the bog cores as dry, often wooded, surfaces. The dry phases were generally followed by wet conditions in which peat accumulation was rapid. These overlying layers of renewed peat growth are also known as recurrence horizons.
reverse face
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: On a fluted projectile, it is the face from which the secondary flute was removed
single-facet platform
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: A platform on a biface or core with a single plane of detachment.
site surface survey map
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: SSS
CATEGORY: tool
DEFINITION: A systematic and accurate map of an archaeological site and its surroundings.
subsurface detection
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: Remote sensing techniques carried out at ground level, and including bosing (or bowsing), augering, coring, Lerici periscope, resistivity detector, magnetometer, and radar techniques.
surface archaeology
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: The recovery and analysis of unburied artifacts.
surface collection
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: Systematic gathering of exposed artifacts or ecofacts. It is one of two basic ground survey methods used in surface survey of archaeological sites, the other being mapping.
surface contour
CATEGORY: feature
DEFINITION: The relief or topographical character of a unit of stratification, recorded by plotting a series of elevations on a plan.
surface enrichment
CATEGORY: geology
DEFINITION: In metal alloy coinage, an occurrence where the more 'noble' metal has a higher observed concentration at the surface of the coin than at the center. A silver-copper alloy has a higher concentration of silver and a gold-silver alloy has a higher concentration of gold. This phenomenon is important since the composition of coins is used to locate their source and gain other data.
surface find
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: An artifact found on the surface of the ground.
surface finish
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: In the study of ceramic artifacts, the mainly decorative outer elements of a vessel.
surface map
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: preliminary surface map
CATEGORY: tool
DEFINITION: A systematic but preliminary map of an archaeological site.
surface site
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: Area where archaeological remains can be found on the surface of the ground.
surface survey
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: site surface survey
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A method of data collection in which archaeological finds are gathered from the ground surface of sites and then evaluated. Surface survey helps to establish the types of activity on the site, locate major structures, and gather information on the most densely occupied areas of the site that could be most productive for total or sample excavation. There are two basic kinds of surface survey: unsystematic and systematic. The former involves fieldwalking, i.e. scanning the ground along one's path and recording the location of artifacts and surface features. Systematic survey less subjective and involves a grid system which is walked systematically, thus making the recording of finds more accurate. Surface survey usually includes the mapping of features. The study of the distribution of surviving features, and the recording and possible collecting of artifacts from the surface.
surface treatment
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: Any modification made to the surface of pottey for either technological or functional purposes.
trend surface analysis
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A method used to make a generalized map from observed data and used to highlight the main features and important trends of a geographic distribution. Archaeological observations mapped are discontinuous and at isolated points and therefore must be used to give information over a wider area. This is done either by averaging the values at a number of points to produce a general value or by a form of linear regression analysis which finds the contours which best fit the observations plotted on the map. The map produced then shows a general trend of the distribution, along with localized fluctuations. The technique is most useful for displaying archaeological data in a simplified and generalized form, making it easier to examine and explain the broad regional trends and the local variations. It can be applied to several different artifact distributions at the regional level, and has also been used to describe the distribution of artifact types within a site.
uniface
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: uniface tool
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: A stone tool having only one side or surface flaked or chipped.
uniface bevel
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A bevel which was formed by removing seep flakes from just one face of an edge. The opposing face may have a few flat flake scars of the primary flaking of scattered retouch flake scars.
upstanding layer interface
CATEGORY: feature
DEFINITION: The face or original surface of an upstanding layer.
vertical face trenching
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: An excavation strategy in which archaeologists expose a vertical face from the ground surface to sterile soil before excavating individual strata across the length of the trench.
vertical feature interface
CATEGORY: feature
DEFINITION: A unit marking a distinct event, such as the digging of a pit, and resulting in the destruction of pre-existing stratification.

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