Jensen's Farm: a study in replicated site surface collection

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Bradford, Sheila E.
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In May-June 1978 and 1979 surface collections were undertaken at Jensen's Farm, an early twentieth century homesteading site twenty miles north of Dauphin, Manitoba, to determine the extent to which the results obtained through site surface collection could: 1) be replicated in terms of the frequencies and spatial distributions of artifact classes recovered, and 2) consistently isolate the location, size, shape, and function of the original features known to have existed at Jensen's Farm. Frequency tables, chi-square, and SAS-produced artifact plots were used in conjunction with scale drawings of Jensen's Farm to assess the results obtained. The results suggest that, even on a highly disturbed site such as Jensen's Farm, it is possible to replicate the general rank-order of artifact classes recovered and the general patterns and dispersions of artifacts plotted. Acceptable ranges of variation, rather than results of no significant statistical difference, should be expected given the indeterminate nature of intervening factors and the basic incomparability of artifact fragments as comparative units. Correspondence to the original Jensen's Farm features proved to be a partial one in terms of both the artifact content recovered and the spatial distributions plotted. Based on the results obtained here, it is advocated that surface collection be conducted wherever irreversible resource management decisions are to be made or where time and funding permit the luxury.
Artifacts, Surface collection