added by archaeologs Deposits of accumulated fragmentary material. Some sediments of archaeological sites are directly man-made, deposited as parts of structures or as a result of waste disposal. Other sediments arise from the erosion and decay of structures. In addition, sediments may be affected by soiL-forming processes. Thus an archaeological site is a complicated sequence of various sediments and soils. The study of such sequences is called stratigraphy. Sediments outside sites are also studied in archaeology, to investigate the changing environment and man’s impact on it (see environmental archaeology).
The Macmillan dictionary of archaeology, Ruth D. Whitehouse, 1983