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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.

In July 1964 the Society for the Archaeological Survey of Israel was founded.

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.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.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).

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