Archaeological Survey 4 - Explanation

Your proposal indicated that you wanted to do a survey of the Basin of Mexico to determine what changes there were, if any, in the settlement pattern from the earliest agricultural period up to the time of Teotihuacan's dominance of the Basin. Your study area includes the very important pre-Aztec metropolis of Teotihuacan. What you are interested in documenting is any detectable changes in the sizes, locations, and numbers of the smaller support communities from the period of incipient agriculture to state formation.

You have a very good team of assistants lined up to work with you, as well as excellent contacts in Mexico who can provide you with additional experienced personel should you need them. Your labor needs will be determined by the size of your sample, and the amount of time you have to spent in the field. In short, you will have to be careful about your survey strategy to make sure that you do not run out of money.

Of course, your other major concern is that the sample that you do collect is representative of the range of site types, sizes, and temporal affiliations in the Basin. A badly biased sample will significantly affect your conclusions about settlement patterns.

Below you will be able to take a look at the topography of the Basin, and look at the locations of prominent geographic features which may have influenced the distribution of human populations in the Basin.

After examining the map, you should click on the "Next" button to download the survey simulation. The first card of the simulation is a breakdown of your bugetary constraints. This is an indication of the cost factors that you must take into consideration in planning your strategy. It is also where you will determine the numbers of vehicles and assistants that will be used to calculate costs as the survey progresses. Think carefully about this.

After that you can enter the control center of your field camp and begin setting up your survey.

Please note that there is no specific end to the survey simulation. When you are satisfied with your survey strategy, the sample you have collected and the results of your preliminary analysis then you are finished with the software portion of the assignment. You will still need to discuss the results with your research group and develop a report to share with the rest of your discussion section. Note that unless you are doing a judgemental survey, there is no way to reproduce a survey, so make sure to take notes and print out the pertinent tables and bar charts to shore up your argument BEFORE you quit the program.

Start Survey Simulation

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