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Excavations have shown considerable variation in the layout of abbeys depending on the different monastic orders.
They range from beehive cells and oratories of Early Celtic abbeys to the Cistercian plan with cloisters, domestic ranges, and a large church.
An abbey usually consisted of group of buildings housing a monastery or a convent and an abbey church or a cathedral.
Monasticism originated in the Middle East during the second half of the 4th century and spread to Byzantium, France, Greece, and Italy and developed independently from that in Britain.
It is a little used method with the introduction of technology.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: vertical excavation CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: Excavation of a site to reveal its vertical extent, with relatively little breadth.
If a large-scale excavation is to be undertaken, the approach will be either area (open) excavation, grid method, , rabotage, sondage, etc.
Removal of the topsoil will either be carried out by hand or machine.
After an initial plan has been made of all visible features before excavation, digging proceeds according to the dictates of the site: sections may be taken across areas of feature intersection, or across individual features.
Prior to the 10th century, monasteries were the principal artistic, economic, and educational centers of the Christian world.
An abbey was the complex of buildings which served the needs of these self-contained religious communities.