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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


To non-archeologists, one of the deeper "mysteries" of the historic preservation program seems to concern the methods of identification and assessment of archeological properties and utilization of this information in project planning and compliance processes. Misunderstanding and misinformation about these activities are very common. To clarify some of these questions, we asked Dr. Thomas F. King, formerly of our staff and currently Director of the Micronesian Archeological Survey, to prepare a manual on the methods and objectives of archeological survey that would in large part be addressed to non-archeologists so that they might gain a greater understanding of the nature of archeological resources. Particularly valuable in Dr. King's discussion is his description of the formation of the archeological record in a hypothetical locality, and then, how this record might have come to be known to archeologists today through various kinds of survey efforts. This is an excellent description of how the archeological record actually has become known in many areas of the United States. Through this means, the reader should gain an understanding of what "existing survey data" enable us to conclude; or, better stated, what they do not permit us to conclude about the archeological resources of an area.

Numerous other topics on a wide range of archeological subjects are in preparation for this series. Comments are welcome on the series, on specific reports, or on suggestions about topics which should be presented.

Rex L. Wilson
Departmental Consulting Archeologist and Chief,
Interagency Archeological Services Division,
Office of Archeology and Historic Preservation

February 1, 1978

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