Prehistoric Site Discovery and Evaluation Methods in Upland Landscapes on the Eastern Plains

Author(s): Shannon Koerner; Brett Giles; Eric Skov

Year: 2016


This study compares the effectiveness of pedestrian walkover and shovel test survey for identifying and delineating prehistoric sites in the eastern Great Plains. The cultural resource program at Fort Riley, Kansas manages 100,000 acres along the Kansas River in the Flint Hills physiographic province. An archaeological inventory of the Fort has been ongoing since the mid-1990s and less than 30 percent remains to be surveyed at this time. The two survey methods approved by the Kansas SHPO include shovel test pits at a 15-meter interval or pedestrian walkover at a 15-meter interval. In this case, the Flint Hills landscape surrounding Fort Riley plays a large role in choosing an effective survey method. Soil deposition in alluvial and low terrace settings often produces deeply buried prehistoric sites. Upland landscapes, otherwise, have undergone very little soil accumulation and often contain surficial prehistoric sites, even some dating to the Pleistocene/Holocene transition. These differences in landscape along with other tangible constraints, such as time, funding, and workforce, may significantly influence the type and effectiveness of each archaeological survey method in the region.

Cite this Record

Prehistoric Site Discovery and Evaluation Methods in Upland Landscapes on the Eastern Plains. Shannon Koerner, Brett Giles, Eric Skov. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 405279)

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Spatial Coverage

min long: -113.95; min lat: 30.751 ; max long: -97.163; max lat: 48.865 ;