Abstract

This article briefly reviews methodological issues relevant to subsurface testing and advances a general method for objectively assessing the reliability of an archaeological survey program based on subsurface survey methods such as the excavation of shovel tests or the use of auger holes. The proposed technique employs simulation to model subsurface testing strategies using simple principles of probability and assumptions that are explicit and realistic. An arbitrary layout of test units can be evaluated to yield an estimate of the proportions of sites of different sizes and artifact densities that will be found (or missed) by the testing program.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)686-707
Number of pages22
JournalAmerican Antiquity
Volume53
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 1988

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simulation
layout
artifact
Simulation
Testing
Excavation
Artifact
Hole
Proportion
Layout
Archaeological Survey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Archaeology
  • Museology

Cite this

The effectiveness of subsurface testing : A simulation approach. / Kintigh, Keith.

In: American Antiquity, Vol. 53, No. 4, 01.10.1988, p. 686-707.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

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