In this chapter we will discuss some of the basic principles of archaeological excavation: the organization, planning, and execution of a scientific dig.

Organizing Archaeological Excavations A good director of a modern archaeological field expedition needs skills beyond those of a competent archaeologist. He or she must also be able to fill the roles of accountant, politician, doctor, mechanic, personnel manager, and even cook. Cultural Resource Management (CRM) project directors also require expertise in compliance with legal requirements (see Chapter 18). On a large dig, though manual labor may not be the director’s responsibility, logistical problems are compounded, and he or she will head a large excavation team of site supervisors, artists, photographers, and specialists (Dancey, 1981; Hester, Shafer, and Feder, 2008). Above all, the field director has to be the leader of a multidisciplinary team of specialist field-workers (Hodder, 1999).