Stratigraphy: the analysis in the vertical, time dimension, of a series of layers in the horizontal, space dimensions. Often used as a relative dating technique to assess the temporal sequence of deposition (Renfrew & Bahn 2001). Haha, you see what I did there? I tricked you into learning.
Ok, but that’s the boring version. Basically it means that the sediment builds up like a layer cake with the oldest cake on the bottom, most recent cake on top. Thus the artifacts we find in the oldest cake layer should be from the earliest occupation at the site, we just need to carefully peel back and record each tasty cake layer (sorry, cake on the brain now).
Our current sites provide a great learning opportunity for the newbies on the crew; we’ve got some horrendously disturbed profiles, some partially disturbed ones, some with cool inter-cut features, and some beautiful textbook examples of stratigraphy – think of it like an I-spy and spot the differences.