University of Southampton OCS (beta), CAA 2012

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The recording of rescue archaeology data from rural test trenching by the French National Institute for Preventive Archaeological Research (INRAP - France) in the Rhône Alpes area : elements of archaeological metrology
Bertrand Moulin, Ellebore Segain, Véronique Vachon, Pierre Jacquet

Last modified: 2011-12-15


Archaeological data combines both spatial and descriptive dimensions. In the particular framework of rescue archaeology in France, our aim is to evaluate archaeological potentials by carrying out systematic surveys on lands concerned by development projects whose realization threaten archaeological sites. The results of these evaluations will allow the archaeological state departments to consider whether an exhaustive excavation should be carried out or not.
In this context, various internal reflections led us to (i) test theoretical sampling strategies to be set up on sites and to (ii) establish an experimental operating chain or protocol for archaeological data to be recorded by INRAP teams in Rhône-Alpes area. This will combines different skills, tools and measurement techniques.
This approach aims to record and archive data in consistent archaeological stratigraphic context, to be adapted at a regional scale through field dataset recording, later integrated into an archaeological database (BDA) using PC-tablet, and topographic - GIS measurements.
The exploratory potential of the GIS tool and its ability to produce various analytical maps in a same space are used to assess archaeological potential of fields and helps with site analysis.
This presentation exposes in detail the operational scheme from the test trenching strategy to the conception of the archaeological database up to the graphical restitution of the spatial information, as well as the type of tools used. The different techniques and methodologies, as well as their limits, are presented here.


preventive archaeology, rural, test trenching strategy, data recording