Remote Sensing in Archaeological Sampling Designs

by Robert C. Dunnell, Prof. and Chmn.; Dept. of Anthropology, Univ. of Washington, Seattle, Wash.,

Serial Information: Transportation Engineering Journal of ASCE, 1980, Vol. 106, Issue 3, Pg. 349-363

Document Type: Journal Paper


The recent explosion of archaeological research, necessitated by Federal legislation and carried out in conjunction with large construction projects, has produced serious problems for the labor intensive field techniques characteristic of archaeology. Remote sensing and photogrammetry can solve one of the most vexing technical problems, the design of intrasite campling strategies, in a way that is both more cost effective and accurate than the traditional methods. A particular application using a late prehistoric site in Washington State is examined in detail. From specially acquired infrared aerial photographs, classes of archaeologically relevant vegetation patterns were mapped. From this information a stratified random sampling design was constructed. Subsequent excavation tested the accuracy of the procedure. This case emphasizes the need for additional research on the precise nature of the relationship between archaeological materials and surface signatures.

Subject Headings: Remote sensing | Archaeology | Explosions | Federal government | Legislation | Labor | Photogrammetry | Aerial photography | Washington | United States

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