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View looking north at the cut (trench) that is being excavated on the upper tell of Tell el–Hesi in the 1970's.
Notice the trench that slices though the side of the tell. Archaeologists will often "sink" a trench such as this in an effort to slice through all of the strata (levels of occupation) that are found at the site. Although it is possible that the trench might miss one or more strata, at least it can be asserted when, at a minimum, the site was occupied. This method, in contrast to exposing large areas, is less expensive and it leaves "pristine" portions of the tell for future excavations.