Test Pitting

A number of test pits opened to test for the presence of sub-surface archaeology
A test pit that was opened at Lanton Quarry as the result of the discovery of a flint cache

Test-pitting is often used along side other forms of archaeological investigation to test for the presence of sub-surface archaeology. This could be in conjunction with aerial photography, to test soil/crop marks observed from the air; with fieldwalking, to test whether a surface concentration of artefacts represents the presence of buried archaeology, or as part of a larger excavation to record geomorphological soil and sediment profiles or to test areas beyond the confines of the excavation trenches.

Test Pits can vary in size from 1m and 2m squares to 5m squares. They are usually excavated by hand and the contents of each pit is usually passed through a sieve to maximise finds recovery.

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