survey

Before archaeologists can begin digging, they have to do a survey. Surveys help them find where people lived in the past. They walk across a site to try to detect where remains maybe buried. Sometimes they even survey sites from air planes using aerial photography. This helps them see the site all at once. Once they locate a site, they create a map of the site and decide where to dig.

What is it: to measure and map an area of land
Types: surface, aerial, and below ground
Common tools: transits, radar, aerial photography, computer models
Cool fact: When making a survey of an underwater site, sound waves can be used to help determine where objects are.

Image credits: courtesy of Charles Spencer; Chuck Spencer: courtesy of AMNH.