5.6. Test Excavation Methodology

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Changes in the use of the Chivay Obsidian Source through time was a principal aim of this research project, and therefore test excavations were critical for acquiring temporal control. As per survey regulations in Peru in 2003, test excavations must be anticipated and planned, and specific permits acquired, prior to beginning the research project. A testing program was planned for the 2003 season at three significant sites in the research area targeting sites in each major ecological zone. A datum for each site was established either on a large, permanent rock or by placing a datum stake. A datum stake consists of a 1.5 x 20cm piece of rebar placed on the margin of each of the site being tested, and site datum stake locations appear in this document in the maps in Chapters 6 and 7. A subdatum was placed adjacent to each test exacavation unit to minimize the horizontal distance (and therefore the error) of measures during excavation proveniencing.