Mapping the Site
An artifact is any portable object made or modified by human activities.
An association is any defined relationship between artifacts or features. An association must be defined. An association is not something that is found.
Context may be found or it may be defined. Context may also be primary or secondary.
This is the designated point on a site from which all vertical and horizontal measurements or provenience are taken. Datums may be
A feature is literally anything you feel is pertinent to note or to refer to in your observations. Features seem to indicate connection or association between phenomena observed in the archaeological record. Feature may be cultural or noncultural, and may be bounded or diffuse.
FIELD SPECIMEN NUMBER (FS).
The Field Specimen Number of "FS" is the single most important provenience distinction in the recording system after recognition of the feature designation. This number is unique to Feature and excavation level. Artifacts, ecofacts and naturefacts removed from each excavation level are placed in separate excavation bags that are given distinct field specimen numbers. Each artifact will be given a distinct suffix within the field specimen number assigned to the excavation level or feature bag. Complete labeling for an FS bag is shown below:
LEVEL 45-50 cm
FS= Field Specimen
165= sequentially given field specimen number
-16= unique designation for an artifact from the FS165 field specimen lot
145N= SW unit corner on N line at 145 meters north of primary datum
116E= SW unit corner on E line at 116 meters east of primary datum
LEVEL= 45-50 cm= artifacts removed from excavation level 45-50 cm below either the unit datum (b.u.d.) or the site primary datum (b.s.d.)
F24/13= artifacts removed from Feature 24 of Feature 13
6/19/92= placement of artifacts in the field specimen bag
BDS= initials of the excavator who placed artifacts in the field specimen bag and stapled it shut
Artifacts are found in primary cultural context in a pattern directly representative of past human activities.
The exact vertical and horizontal measurement of an artifact or feature in an archaeological site.
The ISU feature system carries Jennings' original concept over into computerized analyses, and extends a system intended for field excavation into the laboratory as the most effective means of documenting data analysis. Handwritten field forms are continued as handwritten lab forms, and the results encoded in data management software programs.
The essence of the feature system is that it is flexible, yet systematic, and capable of handling complex problems arising in the course of normal archaeological excavation.
(2) Other Feature Numbers are used as needed. There is no limit to the number of features assigned. Remember, every thing observed should be assigned a feature number.
(3) Assigned feature numbers are never "Closed Out" until:
-(a) The feature has been completely removed through excavation.
-(b) The feature has been reassigned a New Feature Number or has been "Collapsed" into another feature number (e.g., F16 of F4 becomes F4 -- it really was not different than F4; e.g., F16 of F4 becomes F32 -- it really was part of this feature or association).
(4) This mutability of feature numbers is what allows such great flexibility in the Jennings feature system.
(5) Every feature number must be closed out in the field. You must never, ever wait to close out feature numbers in the lab or in the field camp.
(6) You only write feature notes when you are looking at the thing, feature or association. You never, ever make feature notes after the fact. You may use Feature 1 notes for this purpose.
(7) Print, do not write! Also, only use a ball point pen with indelible ink! No pencils! No soft-tip pens!Feature numbers assigned in the laboratory are not continuations of feature numbers assigned in the field. Lab feature numbers are assigned separately regardless of provenience and refer specifically to lab procedures and analyses (e.g., a flotation sample from F17 of F4 will be assigned a new feature number when analyzed in the lab). Feature notes taken during laboratory analysis are constructed identically to field notes, describing procedures, things, and features.