Archaeological Survey 2 - Introduction

One of the most important developments in archaeological method and theory in the past twenty years has been the recognition of the importance of regional archaeological surface surveys. This technique was pioneered in the Viru River Valley by Gordon Willey in the early 1940's, and has become an indispensable tool in the archaeologist's arsenal of research tools since that time. Of course, the sophistication of survey techniques has improved since then, as well as the sophistication of archaeologists in understanding the compexities of survey strategy.

One luxury that most archaeologists never have is the ability to check the effectiveness of various survey strategies before commiting themselves in the field. There are a variety of reasons for this, the most obvious is that you must already know where all of the sites in a region are in order to determine the effectiveness of your survey strategy. In the following exercise you will be afforded the opportunity to evaluate a number of strategies if you wish, and then choose the one that makes the most sense to you in terms of effectiveness at discovering sites, the representativeness of the sample, and the cost effectiveness.

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