Firstly, what is archaeology? We are not speaking of the fictional characters depicted in blockbuster movies and mystical treasure-hunts. We, day-by-day, analyse and interpret human activity through material culture left behind.

We are skilled cleaners, wheelbarrow monkeys and shovelbums. Divers, mountaineers and explorers. Soil deposits speak to us and the Munsell chart becomes a distant memory, as Mr Harris Matrix whispers disapprovingly at our strata matrices.

We are *cue the dramatic music* ARCHAEOLOGISTS!!!

Now, as I have somewhat dramatised our profession. I would like to give an insight into the basic recording techniques/ general practices we all need to know.

For archaeologists interested in excavating in the United Kingdom here is the Holy Grail: Archaeological Site Manual, MoLAS 1994  (Third Edition) aka MoLAS Manual. Click on the name to download a 1.67mb pdf which comprises of 128 pages. I recommend all archaeologists to have access to the manual via a electronic or hard copy.

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