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(1743-1826). As well as his many other achievements, the third President of the USA has a claim to being one of the world’s first scientific excavators. In 1784 he excavated a prehistoric burial mound on his own land in Virginia. He noted that the burials occurred in a number of different levels and concluded that the process of placing bodies on the ground and then covering them with earth, repeated many times, had produced the four-metre-high mound. His careful observation of the position of the skeletons and the different deposits in the mound anticipated Worsaae’s work in Denmark by half a century and the wider adoption of stratigraphical excavation methods by twice that long.

The Macmillan dictionary of archaeology, Ruth D. Whitehouse, 1983Copied