9 Questions

What is an archaeological site?

What can an archaeological site represent?

What factors can influence the definition and geographical extent of a site?

What is one method of finding archaeological sites?

What is geophysics in archaeology?

What is a GIS in archaeology?

How are sites traditionally distinguished?

What can buried cultural remnants indicate?

What is true about many archaeological sites?


Archaeological Site: A Summary

  • An archaeological site is a place where evidence of past activity is preserved.
  • The site can be prehistoric or historic, and it represents a part of the archaeological record.
  • The definition and geographical extent of a site can vary widely depending on the period studied and the theoretical approach of the archaeologist.
  • It is difficult to delimit a site, and it can indicate a settlement of some sort.
  • Surveys are one way to find sites, and it involves walking around analyzing the land looking for artifacts.
  • Field surveys can also involve digging, and archaeologists sample randomly within a given area of land as another form of conducting surveys.
  • Geophysics is a branch of survey becoming more and more popular in archaeology, which uses different types of instruments to investigate features below the ground surface.
  • Archaeologists make maps by taking data from surveys or archival research and plugging it into a Geographical Information System (GIS).
  • Traditionally, sites are distinguished by the presence of both artifacts and features.
  • Different archaeologists may see an ancient town and its nearby cemetery as being two different sites or part of the same wider site.
  • Cultural remnants which have been buried by sediments are in many environments more likely to be preserved than exposed cultural remnants.
  • Many sites are the subject of ongoing excavation or investigation.


Test your knowledge of archaeological sites with our quiz! Learn about the definition and geographical extent of a site, how they are found through surveys and geophysics, and how archaeologists use GIS to make maps. Discover the different types of artifacts and features found at sites and how they help archaeologists piece together the past. Challenge yourself to see if you can distinguish between different types of sites and understand why ongoing excavation and investigation is so important. Take our quiz and become an expert in archaeological sites!

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