wet sieving

Quick Reference


Process of recovering finds and ecofacts from excavated archaeological deposits by passing them through one or more screens or sieves either suspended in water or washed through with running water, in some cases under pressure. The water acts to break down the finer sediments, removing them from the larger clasts and objects that are left on the sieve. The size of mesh used in the sieves varies from less than 1 mm up to 10 mm or more according to what kinds of material are being sought. In most modern excavations only a defined sample (e.g. 20 per cent) of stratified deposits are wet sieved. See also flotation.

Subjects: Archaeology.

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