balk (bôk), n. the side of an excavation square, a balk retains a vertical record of the strata in the square. After a balk is drawn to scale, it may be excavated.

guf•fa (goµoµf× «), n. a rubber bucket used to remove dirt.

me•ter stick (me× t«r stik), n. a stick in a picture that tells the size of the object. For small objects, such as coins or jewelry, a meter stick marked in one-centimeter sections is used. For larger objects the sections are longer.

pa•tish (p« teµsh×), n. The Hebrew word for hammer—actually, a small pick, especially useful for careful, inch-by-inch chipping away at packed earth.

pick (pik), n. your ordinary garden variety. Used for quick removal of deposits that have been tested and are expected to be archaeologically unremarkable.

re•cord book (rek× «rd boáok), n. a detailed account of the excavation in progress, including soils, architecture and finds.

pot•ter•y read•ing (pot× e reµ reµ× ding), v. examining pottery at the end of the day to date it.

sherd (shûrd), n. a piece of broken pottery. Clay vessels were the Tupperware of antiquity.

sift•ing (sif× ting), v. a sieve is used to sift soil to detect small objects such as beads or coins.

stone-for-stone (stoµn f«r stoµn), n. a precise drawing indicating where each stone of a wall or other architectural element was found.

top plan (top plan), n. a drawing of part of an excavation as if looking down from above.

trac•ing a floor (traµ× sing « flôr), v. it is sometimes hard to distinguish a floor surface from the debris packed on top of it.

trans•it (tran× sit, -zit), n. an instrument that measures the vertical position of objects as compared with a fixed reference point, such as a place on the tell’s surface. Helps to determine and record precisely where finds were made.