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The choice of a site chosen for excavation also depends on the budget that the archaeologist and the sponsoring university can raise.The procedure of excavations requires a systematic removal of accumulated earth and debris covering ancient architectural remains, whether belonging to the site of a tell (i.e., a superficial mound created by the accumulation of superimposed layers of ruined ancient towns of different periods) or at the site of a one-period settlement (i.e., a place that was founded on natural land and after a time came to be destroyed or abandoned and never rebuilt).
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Much of this information was collated while traveling the country along predetermined routes, under the supervision of local guides, and with the purpose of visiting sites that were primarily of biblical interest.
The culmination of all this was the detailed work made by Robinson and Van de Velde, among others. Robinson, in particular, crisscrossed the country in 18 and his work ultimately led to the development of the systematic study of place names (topynoms) which was crucial for the identification of places mentioned in the Bible.
The term archaeology is derived from the Greek words archaios ("ancient") and logos ("knowledge, discourse") and was already used in ancient Greek literature in reference to "the study of ancient times." In its modern sense it has come to mean the scientific recovery and systematic study of the material remains of ancient human cultures of prehistoric and historic date.
Prehistory refers to that part of human existence that preceded the development of writing.
The study of ancient writing is known as epigraphy, while the study of the development of individual written letter forms is known as paleography (see Alphabet ).
The archaeological discipline incorporates within it numerous specialist fields of study, notably the investigation of ceramics (the study of pottery forms and manufacturing techniques over time), numismatics (the study of coins), archaeozoology (the study of animal and fish bones), and archaeobotany (the study of plant remains, pollen, and phytoliths).To understand what happened in prehistoric periods, the archaeologist is obliged to rely much more on the interpretation of physical remains such as flint tools and cultic objects, habitations and burials, the assessment of the chronological sequencing of remains at sites, while also using an array of scientific techniques to gather information about climatic and environmental changes occurring in the past.Archaeologists dealing with the historic periods, however, are able to rely on a greater variety of artifacts and architectural remains, on the one hand, and on the discovery of written materials (notably inscriptions on durable materials, such as stone or clay tablets, and on ceramic ostraka, and to a lesser extent on organic materials, such as scrolls and papyri made of leather skins and parchment) on the other.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.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.