(View exact match)X-ray milliprobeSYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: X-ray milliprobe analysis; x-ray milliprobe analysis
CATEGORY: tool; technique
DEFINITION: A specialized type of X-ray fluorescence spectrometry which satisfies the particular requirements of certain artifacts. The principle is the same as for X-ray fluorescence spectrometry, but an instrument directs a highly focused X-ray beam at a desired point(s) on the sample surface. Secondary X-rays emitted from this point are then directed to a detector and analyzed. The spectrometer is outside the artifact, in contrast to standard X-ray spectrometry where the specimen is inside the spectrometer. The advantage that the X-ray milliprobe has over the electron probe microanalyzer is the ease with which samples can be prepared. The technique has flexibility and the ability to analyze microscopic areas.electron probe microanalysisSYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: electron probe microanalyzer
DEFINITION: A physical method of chemical analysis which can determine the constituent elements in metal, stone, glass, pigments/stains, and pottery/ceramics. The technique is slightly destructive, requiring the removal of a small sample from the artifact. An electron beam is used to excite the atomic electrons and the result is the emission of secondary X-rays with characteristic wavelengths for the elements concerned. The beam can be focused on to a very small area of the specimen, and can be moved around to sample different points: thus the method is particularly useful for the study of surface enrichment in metals and of pigments. It can be used with samples as small as 10 -11 cubic centimeter and is similar to XRF (X-ray fluorescence spectrometry).probeSYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: soil probe
DEFINITION: A tool consisting of a metal rod or tube pushed into unexcavated deposits to locate as yet unexposed hard features such as walls, floors, or bed rock. It is also used for exploring subsurface stratigraphy and is less expensive than a core but works down only a few meters.
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Lerici periscopeSYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Nistri periscope
DEFINITION: A subsurface detection probe fitted with a periscope or camera and light source, used to examine subterranean chambers - most often Etruscan tombs. The Lerici Foundation of Milan and Rome has had great success with this method since the development of the periscope, first used in 1957 in an Etruscan tomb in the cemetery of Monte Abbatone. The periscope is inserted into the burial chamber and can photograph the walls and contents of the whole tomb.area excavationSYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: extensive excavation, open excavation, open-area excavation
DEFINITION: A method of excavation in which the full horizontal extent of a site is cleared and large areas are open while preserving a stratigraphic record in the balks between large squares. A gradual vertical probe may then take place. This method is often used to uncover houses and prehistoric settlement patterns. Area excavation involves the opening up of large horizontal areas for excavation, used especially where single period deposits lie close to the surface. It is the excavation of as large an area as possible without the intervention of balks and a grid system. This technique allows the recognition of much slighter traces of ancient structures than other methods. On multi-period sites, however, it calls for much more meticulous recording since the stratigraphy is revealed one layer at a time.augerSYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: augering (n)
DEFINITION: A tool used to probe into the ground and extract a small sample of a deposit without performing actual excavation. Its applications in archaeology are as a means of sampling and understanding the geological environment of a site and also for extracting peat for pollen analysis. There are various types of augers and they can be manual- or power-driven. Simple augers bring up samples on the thread of a drill bit. More elaborate ones open a chamber to collect a core after the drill has bored to an appropriate depth. Augering is generally restricted to the earliest stages of archaeological reconnaissance to determine the depth and characteristics of deposits.neutron scatteringCATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A remote sensing technique involving the placing of a probe into the soil in order to measure the relative rates of neutron flows through the soil. A beam of neutrons is aimed at the target material and the resultant scattering of the neutrons yields information about that material's atomic structure. Since stone produces a lower count rate than soil, buried features can often be detected.open excavationSYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: area excavation; open-area excavation, extensive excavation
DEFINITION: The opening up of large horizontal areas for excavation, used especially where single period deposits lie close to the surface. It is the excavation of as large an area as possible without the intervention of balks and a grid system. This technique allows the recognition of much slighter traces of ancient structures than other methods. On multi-period sites, however, it calls for much more meticulous recording since the stratigraphy is revealed one layer at a time. In this method of excavation, the full horizontal extent of a site is cleared and large areas are open while preserving a stratigraphic record in the balks between large squares. A gradual vertical probe may then take place. This method is often used to uncover houses and prehistoric settlement patterns.resistivity meterSYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: resistivity detector
DEFINITION: A geophysical instrument used to measure the electrical resistivity of the earth to identify buried features and structures. Since the resistivity of the soil changes with humidity, humus content, etc., the machine can detect pits, ditches, roads, floors, etc. This is generally done through an array of four electrodes, pushed into the ground surface. Despite their name, resistivity meters do not actually measure resistivity, but ground resistance. Resistivity is this resistance, standardized for the distance between the electrodes in the ground. The instrument consists of a source of electricity (a handle-operated dynamo in the megger earth tester, batteries in the tellohm, a transistor oscillator in the Martin-Clark meter) and a meter to record the results. All systems employ four steel probes connected by cable to the meter, two to carry the activating current, two to pick up the current passing through the ground. Also, the resistance between two roving probes is now compared with that between two distant static ones. Different spacing between the probes is employed in different conditions; where the probes are spaced equally, as in the Wenner configuration, features up to a depth equal to the probe-separation can be detected. Anomalous readings may indicate the presence of archaeological material.resistivity profilingCATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: Measurement of earth resistance at increasing depths across a site, by widening the probe spacings and thus building up a vertical 'pseudosection'test squareSYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: test pit
DEFINITION: An excavation unit used to sample or probe a site before large-scale excavation or to check surface surveys. Typically a 2-meter square, it is a small exploratory sounding often designed to determine a site's depth and stratigraphy, preparatory to full-scale excavation.