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Harris matrix
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A system devised by E. Harris for representing a site's stratigraphy in schematic form, emphasizing the chronological relationships between the various deposits. It is a method of summarizing the vertical and horizontal interrelationships of all the layers and features on a site in a diagrammatic form. It is the abstract representation of unequivocal stratigraphic relationships between layers, interfaces, and features in a lattice similar to a flow diagram.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: pl. matrices, matrixes
CATEGORY: feature; term
DEFINITION: The soil or physical material in which an excavation is conducted, or within which artifacts or fossils are embedded or supported. The term also refers to the surrounding deposit in which archaeological finds are situated. Originally the term described the grains in sediments or rocks that are finer than the coarsest material in the sediment or rock. Matrix is the material within which cultural debris is contained.
matrix sorting
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: The hand-sorting of processed bulk soil samples to find very small artifacts and ecofacts
seal matrix
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: The object used to make impressions in wax as seals.

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