Research Methodology
Moving out of the Museum and into the Field

In his discussion of research methodology relating to the archaeological, Richard Enos proposes a heuristic that he terms "rhetorical layering" that involves "four layers which must be done in sequence but, after reconstruction, can be analyzed for their dynamic interaction":

Discovery calls for a recognition of the "social and cultural conditions by identifying the political structure, the social patterns, and cultural hierarchies of values. . .these will help us understand the mentalities in operation."

Reconstruction necessitates the "reconstruction [of] conditions that induce and explain why rhetoric and composition were brought into existence. . .isolating the exigencies, audience and constraints (in Bitzer's terms), we will be able to reconstruct the context within the social dynamics of the culture."

Analysis "requires that we examine the actual text" in a mode of analysis that is appropriate to the context with the point being that "the archaeological motif allows historians of rhetoric to reconstruct the meaning of discourse by reconstructing the social and cultural context within which thoughts and sentiments are expressed. [As such,] reconstruction will reveal the interaction between the dynamics of mentality, expression and social conditions."

Display determines how the results are presented as "we 'exhibit' our artifact in a reconstructed context that will help readers grasp the utterance at the moment of kairos much as we do an exhibit at a museum."