This paper discusses sampling techniques for archaeological survey that are directed toward evaluating the properties of surface artifact distributions. The sampling techniques we experimented with consist of a multi-scale sampling plot developed in plant ecology and the use of a nested-intensity survey design. We present results from the initial application of these methods. The sampling technique we borrowed from plant ecology is the Modified-Whittaker multiscale sampling plot, which gathers observations at the spatial scales of 1 sq m, 10 sq m, 100 sq m, and 1000 sq m. Nested-intensity surveys gather observations on the same sample units at multiple resolutions. We compare the results of a closely-spaced walking survey, a crawling survey, and a test excavation to a depth of 10 cm. These techniques were applied to ten 20 × 50 m survey plots distributed over an area of 418 ha near the Hudson-Meng Bison Bonebed in NW Nebraska. These approaches can significantly improve the accuracy of survey data. Our results show that high-resolution coverage techniques overlook more material than archaeologists have suspected. The combined approaches of multi-scale and nested-intensity sampling provide new tools to improve our ability to investigate the properties of surface records.
|Title||Multi-scale and nested-intensity sampling techniques for archaeological survey|
|Authors||O. Burger, L.C. Todd, P. Burnett, T.J. Stohlgren, D. Stephens|
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Series Title||Journal of Field Archaeology|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||Fort Collins Science Center|