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Surveys were henceforth made within 10 × 10 kilometer maps, with the recording of archaeological remains by making measured plans of architectural remains, photography, and the collection and identification of surface artifacts (notably potsherds, flints, and coins).
Since the 1980s Regional Archaeological Surveys have been conducted in various parts of Israel, with excavated tell sites placed within the context of the pattern of archaeological sites known in their specific regions.
Schumacher in 1885–86, and the Wilderness of Zin survey under T. A new Archaeological Survey of Palestine was initiated in 1937, but very little progress was made.
In July 1964 the Society for the Archaeological Survey of Israel was founded.
Archaeological data recovered during excavations are often supplemented with information derived from ancient literary sources (such as theological, narrative, or historical writings).
Archaeology has an important role in illuminating the cultures of certain peoples referred to for example in the Bible, such as the Hyksos and Philistines (who were not at all boorish as one might think).
Various techniques of excavation exist and the choice of the techniques employed depends largely on the characteristics of the site being excavated.
The first action that is taken in preparation for an excavation at a tell is to lay out a grid-system with iron rods set in cement along a north-south axis across the mound.
Excavation ("dirt archaeology") is the principal method used by archaeologists in the search for information about ancient cultures. Wheeler wrote that "there is no correct method of excavation, but many wrong ones." Numerous factors contribute to the choice of a site for excavation in the Land of Israel, including its historical importance (and biblical identification), chance finds of significance, the impressiveness or accessibility of a site, and observations made during earlier archaeological investigations.
Archaeology has much to contribute to the contextual clarification of the later classical and medieval periods as well, and a wealth of data now exists in textbooks and scientific publications.
The cut-off period for archaeological investigations in Israel used to be the late medieval period (c.
The maps have since become an indispensable tool for all new archaeological surveys, even though the information provided was incomplete and by modern archaeological standards defective (e.g., artificial city mounds – tells – were not regarded by the explorers as sites of any archaeological significance). An important survey of ancient synagogues in Galilee was undertaken in 1905–7 by H. Until World War , surveys conducted in Palestine were fairly basic in terms of the field methodologies and the means of dating that were employed.
Subsequently, the Survey of Eastern Palestine was made in 1881–82 and then discontinued, the Arabah Survey in 1883–84, surveys east of the Jordan by G. A "Schedule of Historical Maps and Sites" was prepared and updated by the Palestine Department of Antiquities at regular intervals from the 1920s.