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In small projects with light loads and "known" soil materials, foundation decisions are made by the architect, engineer or contractor at the beginning of every project (and hopefully well before the first bit of earth is turned). In most cases, the foundation systems they select perform as anticipated. In other cases, those occasional pockets of subterranean mystery that deviate from the norm—the local dump that has long been abandoned and filled in so it looks innocent from the surface, the perched high-water table, or the hydraulic, "quick," condition—see to it that they don't work. Because in the study of earth materials we often are dealing with the unknown, foundation "engineering" is more of an art than a science. As such,