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In North American archaeology this term refers to a culturally homogenous stratigraphic unit within a site. Defined by W. C. McKern in 1939 as ‘the manifestation of a given archaeological focus at a specific site’. Thus a site with one period of occupation will have just one component; a site occupied five times will have five components. A component is site‐specific and broadly equates with the concept of a ‘phase’ in European archaeology.

Subjects: Archaeology.

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