Decay and destruction


Reconstruction of Saxon settlement at the orchard site,Walton

There are several ways that an archaeological site could have been destroyed. It could be abandoned and decay; it could be dismantled and everything taken away; it could be burnt down; or it could be waterlogged. Any site can be destroyed by one or more of these methods.


Look at these examples of sites and the associated images your teacher gives you:


One was abandoned, one dismantled, one burnt down and one waterlogged. Can you work out how each one was destroyed and what kind of things survive from each? Then you can decide which method of destruction is best for preserving ancient remains for archaeologists to study. Rank the methods of destruction 1 to 4, where 1 is the highest, by the amount of material that has survived:



Name of site


What has survived?















Burnt down















Go back to more Archaeological skills and concepts worksheets.