Occasionally it is desirable to remove archaeological material, such as burials, so that the relationship of the elements, one to another, will be maintained. For about 50 years paleontologists have been employing a technic of enclosing specimens in plaster jackets which, under some circumstances, should prove useful to archaeologists. This method has been fully described in a few publications but, in general, it has been passed along from one academic generation to the next by demonstration and instruction, and new modifications have been presented informally.
It is hoped that the present discussion will prove a satisfactory description of the technic and useful in most of the situations which archaeologists will encounter. Since most of the objects which the archaeologists will want to take out by the technic of casting will occur in unconsolidated material, the procedure discussed here is one most applicable to that type of matrix.
Materials. There are a number of materials, not normally carried by archaeologists, which are necessary for this method.