E. B. Banning
One of the field methods of archaeology, archaeological survey, is one that most people think of simply as a prelude to excavation. In fact, in modern archaeology, survey is some form is a field method in its own right, able to answer some kinds of archaeological research questions that excavations, alone, cannot answer. In addition, it is a key component of assessments in Cultural Resouce Management (CRM) or heritage management.
Many non-archaeologists assume that all the archaeological sites have been found by now (actually "new" ones are found every day), while others wonder how we manage to find sites, particularly when they are buried.
These questions involve one aspect of archaeological survey - prospection - but survey has various purposes, including:
Each of these goals is best accomplished with distinct sets of methods, although there is much overlap in method, especially as archaeologists often have more than one goal. These goals also overlap with such goals as managing heritage resources and minimizing the impact of modern development on those resources
|Prospection||How do Archaeologists find sites?|
General factors affecting detection
Specific factors affecting detection
How do Archaeologists find sites?
How do Archaeologists detect buried structures or artifacts?
|Spatial Structure||Sometimes called "Total" Survey, includes most "Non-site" Survey|
Nor is sampling adequate for detecting pattern in the way artifacts and architecture within sites, or sites within regions, are distributed. Some kinds of sample would even systematically overlook this kind of pattern
For example, archaeologists might want to know:
A random sample of little squares, for example, could miss most of the buildings or villages, making it impossible to see if they are arranged on a grid or along road networks.
|Evaluation||Can we rely on the survey results?|
Banning, E. B.
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Last Update 21 September 2004
Contents and design copyright E. B. Banning 2003-08