This is the most well known aspect of archaeology. Archaeologists excavate remains buried under the earth. Soil and other deposits build up naturally above sites over time through slow accumulation and more dramatic climatic events.
As sites grow, change, are destroyed, and rise again over time, succes-sive layers of soils develop around artifacts and features. These layers are called strata, and the recording and “reading” of the layers is called stratigraphy (to write or record strata). Archae-ology and the earth sciences share the goal of examining the changing layers of the earth, although the archaeologists’ focus is on human time and human agency.
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