1. Education
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Harris Matrix


Definition: The Harris Matrix is a tool developed in 1973 by British archaeologist Edward Cecil Harris to assist in the examination and interpretation of the stratigraphy of archaeological sites, and identifying both natural and cultural strata.

Originally designed for use on urban historic sites (which stratigraphy tends to be horrendously complex and jumbled), the Harris Matrix is applicable to any archaeological site. There are several computer forms of the Harris Matrix available for purchase.


The best source for information about the Harris Matrix is the Harris Matrix project website. Software to help manage the matrix is listed in the Computer Software Programs for Archaeologists. More information on buried cities can be found in the article How do ancient cities become buried?.

This glossary entry is part of the Dictionary of Archaeology.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.