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Appendix I State Archaeological Surveys Suggestions in Method and Technique Prepared by the Committee on State Archaeological Surveys Division of Anthropology and Psychology National Research Council Clark Wissler, Chairman, Amos W Butler, Roland B. Dixon, F. W Hodge, Berthold Laufer Issued in mimeograph form by the National Research Council Washington, D.C. Table of Contents Introduction 435 The Archaeological Ideal [I] 437 Archaeology and History [2] 437 Classification of Materials [5] 440 Data on Private and Public Collections [6] 440 Filing Systems [7] 441 Mapping [7] 441 Publications [8] 441 Personnel and Supporting Organizations [8] 441 Collecting [II] 443 Locating Sites [12] 444 Plotting a Site [15] 446 The Examination of Graves, Cemeteries, and Village Sites [16] 447 Mound Exploration [19] 449 The Sounding Rod as an Aid in Field Exploration [22] 451 Summary [23] 452 Introduction In this report the term archaeological survey is used in a broad sense to cover all aspects of the aboriginal Indian problem, and it is taken for granted that every state is interested in conserving and investigating its archaeological and historical resources. In order to deal with these resources intelligently and to make them of real service to the state, all archaeological and historical Indian sites must be located and classified. Just what kinds of materials are found within the state and where they occur must be determined. It follows, then, that an archaeological survey is for one thing an inventory of these resources. And for practical guidance in its conservation work the state needs such an inventory. The making of such a survey is essentially a scientific procedure involving special techniques, the essentials of which should be acquired by all who undertake the work. As information of this practical nature is not readily obtainable, the accompanying suggestions are offered. They embody the latest improvements in archaeological technique and have been compiled by the committee from statements prepared by experienced American archaeologists. State Archaeological Surveys The Archaeological Ideal In all archaeological research the ideal should be to record accurately all of the pertinent facts. What is found? Where? How related to topography? To the earth strata? And lastly, the spatial relations of all objects. All data should ultimately be visualized in a three-dimensional scheme, their places in the horizontal plane, and their relative depths. The former express the geographical distribution, the latter the time sequence. The geographical distribution is primary and is also the immediate objective of the survey. Examples of stratification are rare, but when found they should be noted with the utmost care. They are also the most precious of finds, to be preserved whenever possible for future detailed study. Archaeology and History In all the states there are known sites of what were Indian villages during the period of colonization, and in many of the states there still remain remnants of Indian tribes once living and flourishing there. It is thus possible to connect the immediate pre-historic with the historic. The reconstruction of the original culture of these tribes at the time of their first meeting with the settlers is a most important problem. For example, the Menomini of Wisconsin when first discovered were residing about where they now are, so that an intensive study of that territory would enable one to identify the pre-historic sites, to determine their culture characteristics , and eventually to distinguish between the early and the late sites. A good example of this kind of work is to be found in Skinner's "Material Culture of the Menomini."l But for a more exhaustive study see "The 1. Skinner, Alanson. Chap. 7. Published in Indian Notes and Monographs, Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation. [Ed. note: Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation, Indian Notes and Monographs 20. 1921] Mandans."2 Many other similar studies could be cited, but all of them are still deficient in archaeological data and particularly in the use of such refined methods as are now available for the determining of time relations . All the states in the Union, particularly those in the Mississippi Valley, offer many such problems in the archaeology of known tribes, for throughout the length and breadth of that great area there lived, in prehistoric times, many Indians of different stocks and cultures. Whether the historic Indians were the same people or whether they were the descendants of those who held the country in pre-historic times, is, of course, a question in many cases. It is often possible, however, by the examination of...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9780817313531
Related ISBN
9780817310844
MARC Record
OCLC
772460338
Pages
386
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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