Surface collection, sampling, and research design: A retrospective

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Probability sampling, controlled surface collecting, and explicit research designs are standard working procedures for a large portion of the archaeological profession. The need for adopting these approaches and their utility in the field have been persuasively argued in the literature for 20 years. Despite their agreed-upon utility, these approaches are often poorly understood. Field strategies of four projects and their rationales are presented to provide examples of specific approaches that have had positive results. Based on these case studies and a review of the literature, I propose six basic principles as guides to the formulation of future field strategies. The researcher must define interpretive objectives, specify minimal data requirements, understand the problems of data recognition, structure the flow of research and evaluation, choose appropriate tools for each stage of research, and maintain cost effectiveness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)249-265
Number of pages17
JournalAmerican Antiquity
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Archaeology
  • Museology


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