Balk: A segment of earth left standing between excavation units. Used to make stratigraphic analysis easier.
Botanical: Another term used for plant materials.
Ceramic: Also known as pottery, are usually vessels, that are made by combining raw clay, water, and tiny pieces of some non-plastic material like sand, stone, or shell. This clay mixture is shaped into a vessel and then baked in a fire to make man-made stone containers, which can be used for many things, such as cooking, and storing foods. Other types of ceramic forms include pipes and figurines.
Feature: A non-moveable/non-portable element of an archaeological site, which provides evidence of human activity consisting primarily of cultural materials as part of the natural layer. Features include trash pits, hearths, walls, or pathways.
In Situ: Used to refer to an artifact found in its original place/position.
Lithic: Another term used for stone.
Magnetometry: A geophysical survey technique that measures and maps variation and contrast of magnetic properties in soil; it can take place over open soil, grass, and crops.
Paleoethnobotany: The archaeological analysis of the relationships between people and plants.
Pit Feature: A dugout roughly circular pit that was used for storage, cooking (i.e. a hearth), or trash disposal and has been filled with soil and cultural materials over time.
Post Mold: Small circular features that were created when holes were dug for posts. Over time, the wooden posts disintegrate and leave the soil color stained darker than the surrounding soil matrix.
Public Archaeology: The sharing of archaeological information with people outside of archaeology, whether that information is passed along through accessible information or through in-person experience.
Salvage Archaeology: The removal of all or part of an archaeological site to document structural and other remains uncovered by historic farming operations or to prevent the complete loss of data during government-funded construction projects.
Stratigraphy: Refers to the law of superposition, the geologic principle that older cultural deposits are located deeper in the earth, and these deposits appear as layers with differing soil characteristics.
Zooarchaeology: The study of non-human animal remains from archaeological sites. The primary goal is to understand the relationships between humans and their environment, specifically focusing on the interaction with other animals.