Archaeology Terms

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Shovel Testing - Video

Archaeologists sometimes dig a series of small holes called “shovel tests” to find artifacts and sites in an area and to examine the soils. Shovel-test surveys can help to determine whether sites are present, to define their nature and extent, and to assess how they relate to local landforms, laying the groundwork for future work. Here MVAC Research Intern Cindy Kocik explains how archaeologists do shovel testing, what equipment they need, what they look for, and how they record their work in the field.