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Lisa, you did a great job answering the first two questions. In Question 3, you correctly identified dendrochronology as a method you can use to confirm your estimate, but stratigraphy will not work in this case. Remember, the pot shard was the only artifact found at the site. What other method would be more useful?
Keep working hard. You have improved a lot during this semester!
The eight steps to successfully excavate an artifact are: surveying the area, setting up a grid and connecting the grid to a datum, digging several test pits, excavate the site using trowels, shovels, and various other tools, carefully remove dirt and note the precise location of any artifacts found, fill the site back in and take the artifacts to be analyzed, look for features while excavating a site, and lastly try to determine how old artifacts are.
A feature is evidence of a human activity that is not movable, and usually has a vertical component. A road is not a feature because it only has a horizontal component. A fire ring is an example of a feature because it will leave evidence behind in the soil.
Two methods to confirm this estimate would be to take the artifact to a lab. To confirm the date we can use stratigraphy, the idea that older artifacts are below newer one. Or we can use dendrochronology, which uses the annual growth rings in trees to establish an age for artifacts. I chose these two methods because they are reliable and usually accurate.