Stratigraphy harris matrices relative dating of australian rock art
The Harris Matrix (or Harris-Winchester matrix) is a tool developed between 1969-1973 by Bermudian archaeologist Edward Cecil Harris to assist in the examination and interpretation of the stratigraphy of archaeological sites.
The Harris matrix is specifically for the identification of both natural and cultural events which make up a site's history.
All archaeological sites are palimpsests, that is to say, the end result of a series of events, including cultural events (a house was built, a storage pit was dug, a field was planted, the house was abandoned or torn down) and natural events (a flood or volcanic eruption covered the site, the house burned down, organic materials decayed).
The cases are the first for Australia and were reported last month, one in Queensland and one in Western Australia.
Harris matrices may be compiled in the field as the archaeologist is recording the stratigraphy in her field notes, or in the laboratory, working from notes, photos and maps.
This article is part of the guide to something or other, and part of the Dictionary of Archaeology The best source for information about the Harris Matrix is the Harris Matrix project website; a recent software program is available known as the Harris Matrix Composer which looks promising, although I have not tried it out so can't tell you how well it works.
Harris recognized three types of relationships between units--by which he meant groups of levels which share the same context: Harris invented his matrix in the late 1960s and early 1970s during post-excavation analysis of site records from the 1960s excavation at Winchester, Hampshire in the UK.
His first publication was in June 1979, the first edition of .