Excavation is the process by which archaeological remains are retrieved and recorded. These remains can include house foundations, graves, artifacts, and seeds.
The excavation process can vary from one site to the next. The excavation process involves several steps, from making plans to digging. Level Ground Excavation allows for iterative decision-making in excavation areas and enables participants to follow the excavation progress even when not at the fieldwork site.
Site surveys are a crucial component in various industries and projects that require a detailed understanding of the location before work can begin. Whether the project involves construction, oil and gas exploration, or even commercial real estate, a proper survey can help guarantee smoother operations in the future. A well-planned site survey can provide important insights into a project’s layout, accessibility, and more. The best way to approach a site survey is to take thorough field notes documenting each measurement, angle, and sketch. This data will be invaluable for analyzing the area and identifying potential obstacles in the future.
: A primary advantage of a comprehensive site survey is that it digitizes information about a site and turns it into actionable information for stakeholders. That enables remote access to accurate site information and speeds up the review process for project managers, designers, procurement managers, fixture fabricators, and onsite construction teams.
The scope of a site survey will vary depending on the needs and goals of a particular initiative. A typical survey might inspect a building or facility’s structure, components, mechanical-electrical-plumbing systems, operational equipment, and other physical site elements. Surveys might also include a 3D model or render of the space and other site representations useful for a specific program.
As a safety measure, it’s critical to assess the risks and responsibilities of the survey team members. Depending on the type of excavation and project requirements, this might include a combination of workers from your firm, contractors, subcontractors, or archeologists. The team should be suited to personal protective equipment and familiar with the site’s environmental, geological, and historical conditions.
For archaeological sites, conducting a Phase I survey before starting any excavation or demolition activities is essential. These surveys use surface scatters, shovel test units, ground penetrating radar (GPR), magnetometry, and light detection and range (LiDAR) to locate and record archaeological features. These onsite surveys are conducted by a team of two workers who will be entering the site and one outside support person armed with appropriate safety equipment and ready to respond in an accident or emergency.
The planning phase of excavation involves developing a plan for digging and determining what needs to be removed. It can involve various activities, from surface artifact scatters to fully excavated buildings. It also includes grading and installing utilities. Depending on the type of excavation, this can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. It requires experienced workers and specialized equipment.
An excavation site has many potential hazards, including cave-ins, collapse, falling material, and contact with buried utilities. It is important to properly plan the work ahead of time to reduce these risks. That can be done by creating a project timeline and hiring an excavation contractor with the right tools and equipment.
A pre-excavation plan is a sketch map of the area to be excavated and may include a graphical representation of features and deposits. The program also includes a schedule for each task. A professional archaeologist must review and approve the plan before fieldwork begins. It should also outline a process for evaluating artifacts and recording findings. The program should include structural precautions, lateral support, and backfill requirements.
Once the pre-excavation plan is complete, the excavation can begin. The excavation process involves removing dirt and rocks from the construction or demolition site with a heavy machine. The soil can then be transported to a different location for something else. The excavation process can also uncover artifacts that can shed light on a region’s history and culture.
The excavation process is typically highly regulated, and multiple agencies oversee each project stage. For example, the property owner must submit a permit application for each project stage and conduct soil sampling before closing the permit. The excavation contractor must also comply with local ordinances regarding hazardous waste disposal and proper backfilling. The excavation contractor must also follow industry best practices to prevent damage to underground utilities. In addition, the excavation contractor must prepare a final report to submit to the regulatory agency.
The preparation phase of excavation involves preparing the site for digging. That includes contacting local utility companies, obtaining required permits, and clearing the area of trees, rocks, brush, and other debris. It also includes identifying the soil type and testing its strength and consistency. Depending on the soil type, it may be necessary to install shoring or benching to prevent collapse or other problems during the excavation process.
Once the site is ready, construction and excavation can begin. This phase usually requires a large amount of heavy equipment, including backhoes, excavators, bulldozers, dump trucks, and more. Sometimes, trenchers and tractors are also used for digging and moving materials around the job site. That is a critical step in construction because it ensures the foundation is properly prepared for other construction.
Care must be taken During the excavation process to avoid damaging pipes or other underground structures. In addition, any artifacts discovered must be carefully sorted, cataloged, and preserved for future analysis. As we mentioned in our blog, “The Archaeologist’s Toolkit,” this is one of the most important aspects of archaeological work because it allows us to understand the past more tangibly.
Rock excavation is a specific type of excavation that requires specialized equipment to break up and remove rocks. That may involve using drills, hammer attachments, or even explosives to clear a surface that is too rocky for other methods. Another muck excavation type is the removal of excessively wet or unstable material that cannot support loads.
Once the excavation is complete, the dirt must be screened and graded. This process removes rocks or other debris and combines it with soil to make a clean slate for the next building phase. Once the dirt is screened and graded, construction can start. That could include constructing the foundation for a new home, creating drainage ditches, installing septic systems, or dredging underwater material. Excavation is a complex process that requires specialized knowledge, careful planning, and proper execution. It is a crucial part of construction and can affect the integrity of the finished project.
Excavation is a key step in construction projects. It requires skilled workers, specialized equipment, and careful planning and execution to ensure the safety of everyone involved. In this article, we’ll explore how excavation is done and what makes it a crucial process in the construction industry.
The first step in excavation is to survey the site. That is necessary to determine the best location for the foundation of the building or other structure, as well as to mark any underground utilities that must be avoided during construction. After the site survey is completed, the excavation team can begin work. Depending on the type of project, this may include site grading, trench digging, or earthmoving. Large pieces of machinery like bulldozers are often used to dig the foundations for larger projects. Smaller heavy equipment, like a skid steer, is also available for more compact jobs or smaller sites with less space to work in.
Other types of excavation include tunneling, rock excavation, and dredging. Tunneling is digging a passage under the ground, which can be done using large machines like tunnel boring machines or by hand. That is often done for transportation purposes, such as roads or railways. Rock excavation is the process of breaking through or clearing a rocky surface. That can be done using dynamite, hydraulic tools, or by hand.
Finally, dredging is digging out sediment from the bottom of bodies of water, which can be used to maintain the depth of a river or lake or remove sand and other material that has accumulated on the shore. Unlike in popular culture, where archaeologists break out their shovels and trowels to uncover buried treasure, archaeological excavation is a scientific and detailed process. The goal of archaeological excavation is to understand a particular area’s historical context and development, which is only possible through an in-depth analysis of the site.