File - Natasha Howard

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Natasha Howard
Alan Griffiths
April 11, 2014
Final Project
There are many different ways that an archaeologist can excavate a site. Each way gets a
variety of findings. But not all techniques can be used on the same site. Plus, when looking for
certain answers one would not need to use all techniques but just the ones necessary to their
work. Excavation is important and should never
be done wrong.
(Figure 1-Parthenon)
In all reality it is a miracle the Parthenon
is still standing today. It has been on fire, gone
through many wars, and even been blown up by
gunpowder. But none of that is as scary as it been excavated poorly. In the summer of 1800
Thomas Bruce, 7th Earl of Elgin, sent painters, draughtsman, and modelers to Athens. They were
there to capture the ancient monuments. By the summer of 1801 Thomas was given a firman.
This allowed him to not only mold sculptures but to also excavate stone figures from the
Parthenon. The sculptures that were taken are now on display in the British Museum. The Greek
government has asked that the sculptures be returned but they aren’t in very good condition to be
moved. When the Parthenon was blown up with gunpowder they were severely damaged. And
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the excavation of them was not done well enough. Although Heather Whipps, from Livescience
stated, “New tests, performed by Greek archaeologist and chemical engineer Evi
Papakonstantinou-Zioti, confirm the use of brilliant shades of red, blue and green” (Livescience).
That means that the Parthenon and all of its sculptures use to be bright colors. This is something
not very people know. It would have been amazing to see all painted. The Parthenon was again
excavated in 1886 by Wilhelm Dörpfeld. He found a
way to date archaeological sites through strata
through building material type.
(Figure 2-Mr. Griffiths doing field work)
While working in class we went outside to
dig. We used previous measurements to find the
corked up paper in the ground. At first a trowel was
used to dig a small square around the paper. Taking
away all the loose dirt we were able to pull the paper loose from the ground. An auger was then
placed into the hole very carefully. This was done so we could have a dirt sample to compare to
the Munsell soil color chart. This type of archaeology is known as auger survey. It helps to test
the human caused pollution in the soil. This technique is good for a quick sample and it doesn’t
destroy a whole bunch of space. It only leaves a small hole that could be filled in without even
being notice.
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As one can see excavation can be done numerous amounts of ways to get different
answers. Archaeology can be used to test air pollution or see what objects may have looked like
in the past. Excavation done right can give us so many answers that might not be found
otherwise. But one must know what they are looking to answer first. This way one knows which
excavation technique to use to get the best answer.
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Works Cited
Jarus, Owen. Elgin Marbles & the Parthenon. Website. 14 Jan 2014
Whipps, Heather. Parthenon Once a Riot of Color. Website. 19 Mar 2006
Photo Index
Figure 1. Google Images. Website. 10 April 2014
Figure 2. My Photograph. 09 April 2014