Archaeological excavations generally discover two main classes of phenomena;
artifacts are objects which have been altered and/or used in any
way by humans. Artifacts, then, are such discrete items as stone tools,
bone ornaments, rocks moved from a riverbed to a hearth inside a house,
and so on. As important as artifacts are features; these may loosely
be defined as arrangements of matter which reflect human activity, such
as post-holes and pits dug into the ground (whether or not they contain
anything), piles of rock which are in some way associated, fireplaces,
caches of tools or valuable items, and so on.
This page introduces some of the main types of features encountered
at the Meier site. A schematic illustration of the Meier features is presented below.
For each feature type below, I provide a general description
as well as a rendering (made with 'Bryce 4' software on a Mac Power PC) which depicts a 'holotypical' representation of that feature type. These holotypes are provided as thinking
devices, and to point out the distinctiveness of these feature
types from one another. Click on the features below for details.