Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

M.A. in Anthropology


Sociology and Anthropology

First Advisor

Jay K. Johnson

Second Advisor

Matthew L. Murray

Relational Format



Shovel testing and controlled surface collection are commethods of archaeological site investigation that are generally approved by state and federal agencies as well as the academic community for cultural resource management projects and research. While both techniques are equally utilized, little research has been conducted on how equivalent these techniques are in terms of their efficacy for finding site. This thesis seeks to find a way to compare these techniques by creating mathematical models to describe how well the methods behave when tested on known datasets generated from Mississippian period farmsteads. The predicted performance can then be compared to real world results of investigations. A discussion then follows on the implications for treating the investigation techniques as equivalent and recommendations are made to adjust for survey efficacy bias in future research designs.



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