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The Archeological Survey: Methods and Uses






Introduction and Definitions

A Brief History of Archeological Survey

The Variety of Archeological Survey

Basic Archeological Site Survey Methods

Special Types of Survey

Recording and Reporting

Predictive Survey for Comprehensive Planning



Forms Used in Recording Archeological Survey Data

Archeological Predictive Studies

Example of an Archeological Review Procedure Using Predictive Data

Automated Management of Data and Research Results on Archeological Surveys

State Archeological Co-ops: Their Evolution, Dangers, and Value

The Archeological Survey: Methods and Uses
U.S. Dept. of the Interior


In this brief paper we have tried to encapsulate some of the conventional wisdom about archeological surveys and how they contribute to both general and project planning. Our concluding remarks deal with two problems.

Maintaining Data on Surveys

As archeological surveys proliferate, the need grows not only to ensure that they are conducted according to high standards, but to maintain and keep careful account of the data they produce. These data include information on archeological sites and other historic properties as well as other types of positive information. They also include negative data. We need to know which areas have been thoroughly surveyed with negative results so that the work will not be duplicated and so that negative information, like the positive information, can contribute to the development of predictions. We need to be able to distinguish between those areas that have been exactingly surveyed with negative results and those that have been surveyed with marginal precision. Appendix D is a short paper recently published in 11593 (King and Cole 1977), reproduced here for convenience. Until a system like the one proposed in Appendix D is developed, it will be the SHPOs' responsibility to maintain survey data as best they can.

Coordination with the Profession

We cannot overemphasize the importance of maintaining close coordination among the SHPOs, the Federal agencies that engage in either general or project planning, and the archeological community. Maintenance of a good professional staff and a good State Review Board is vital but is usually not enough. Greater breadth and flexibility are needed if the SHPO is to develop and implement a State historic preservation survey and plan that meets high professional standards. Appendix E is another paper first published in 11593 which discusses State archeological communities (King 1976). In organizing, developing, carrying out, and periodically reviewing the State historic preservation survey and plan, every effort should be made to involve the whole spectrum of legitimate archeological interests in the State as well as those outside the State that can make useful contributions.

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