Applied principles of stratigraphic analysis
March 2016 - G. Buccellati
The home for this page is MOZAN SITEWIDE / STRATIGRAPHY / Principles
In the Grammar one will find a detailed treatment of the principles of stratigraphic analysis that are applied within the UGR. Of direct relevance to us here are two related sets of concepts, pertaining to (1) clusters and (2) their ordering.
(1) Strata, phases and horizons refer to clusters. Strata are minimal units of reference within the same system, and they apply only to a unit or area.
Horizons and phases are the maximal and intermediate units of reference relating spatial elements in terms of temporal sequence, as defined in the grammar. They apply to the whole site.
Strata refer directly to data. Phases refer indirectly to data, in that they subsume the strata. Horizons are very broad categories and do not per se refer to specific data.
(2) Sequences and frames refer to the ordering of clusters (i.e., strata and phases).
Sequences can be nested within each other: thus the sequence of a given excavation unit can be nested within the sequence of the broader area to which it belongs. The frame represents the highest node in the ordering system.
Multiple sequences and frames are possible, in the sense that one version may be superseded by a later one. They are identified by an indexing label.
The system is complex, but it provides an effective way to mediate the conflict between the two needs of maintaing close adherence to the principle of contact association while, at the same time, relating these to the broader chronological and typological context.
The UGR has implemented fully this approach, and one will find here the details of how the material is organized, as it regards the frame and the sequences currently in use.