Tuesday, March 04, 2008

nnovative Archaeological Survey Reveals Unknown Aspects Of China's Past
Imagine future archaeologists trying to understand Illinois, California or New York based on a few excavations in each of those states. They might excavate small areas in city centers, since those sites would probably be the first ruins they would come across. Meanwhile, the archaeologists they might fail to notice or study farms, suburbs, shopping malls, canals and airports.

Although still relatively unknown to the general public, an archaeological method that is being practiced at several locations around the world helps scientists overcome such bias toward large, readily noticeable sites. The method is called a regional settlement pattern survey. It involves walking systematically over a large landscape to find traces of archaeological sites on the surface of the ground. This field procedure can yield a holistic, integrated view of how settlement has shifted in a region over the course of history.

I started to boggle when I learned what this 'innovative' technique really was, but as the article states, it's not something the general public probably knows much about.