Topic ID #23690 - posted 10/7/2012 8:53 PM

RAoS #123 Shovelbums Guide Part 17: Township and Range


Archaeologists on the West coast, in many of the plains and central states, Alaska, and Hawaii are likely familiar with the Township and Range system.  Here in the Great Basin and in surrounding states the “legal location” of a project area or an individual site is given in quarter quarter sections using the Township and Range System.  But, what is the system and where do we get coordinates like T17N, R15E, Mount Diablo Meridian?  Well, I’m glad you asked.  I’ll start with a short history of the rectangular survey system, also known as the Public Lands Survey System (PLSS).

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