Social:Type site

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Short description: Archaeological site that defines a culture

In archaeology, a type site is the site used to define a particular archaeological culture or other typological unit, which is often named after it.[1][2] For example, discoveries at La Tène and Hallstatt led scholars to divide the European Iron Age into the La Tène culture and Hallstatt culture, named after their respective type sites.[3]

The concept is similar to type localities in geology and type specimens in biology.

Notable type sites

East Asia

  • Banpo (Yangshao culture, Neolithic Yangshao culture, China)
  • Liangzhu Town, near Hangzhou (Liangzhu culture, Neolithic, China)
  • Songguk-ri (Middle Mumun culture, southern Korea)
  • Suemura cluster of kilns--Kilns of Sue warew:ja:須恵器(Middle and Late Kofun period, Osaka , Japan )
  • Sanage cluster of kilns—Kilns of Green Glazed Warew:ja:緑釉陶器 and Ash Glazed Warew:ja:灰釉陶器 (Nara and Heian period, Aichi Prefecture, Japan)


  • a river terrace of the River Somme (Abbeville, France), of the Abbevillian culture
  • Aurignac (Haute Garonne, France), of the Aurignacian culture
  • Hallstatt (Salzkammergut, Austria), of the Hallstatt culture
  • La Tène, Neuchâtel, Switzerland, of the La Tène culture
  • Vinča, Belgrade, Serbia, of the Vinča culture
  • Abri de la Madeleine (Dordogne, France), of the Magdalenian culture
  • Le Moustier (Dordogne, France), of the Mousterian culture
  • Saint Acheul (near Amiens, France ), of the Acheulean culture
  • Butmir (near Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina), of the Butmir culture


  • Uaxactun (Maya civilization, Dept.of Peten, Guatemala)
  • Dzibilchaltun (Maya civilization, northern Yucatan, Mexico)
  • Monte Albán (Zapotec civilization, Oaxaca, Mexico)

Near East

Northern America

  • Folsom, New Mexico (Folsom Tradition), United States
  • Clovis, New Mexico (Clovis culture), United States: generally accepted as the type site for one of the earliest human cultures in the North America
  • La Plata County, Colorado (Basketmaker II period of the Anasazi culture), United States
  • Barton Gulch of the Blackwater Draw Paleo-Indian culture
  • Adena Mound (Adena culture), United States
  • Borax Lake Site, for two of the earliest cultural traditions in California: the Post Pattern and Borax Lake Pattern.


South Asia

  • Kot Diji (pre-Harappanian civilization, Pakistan )
  • Harappa (Indus civilization, Punjab, northeast Pakistan)


  1. Darvill, Timothy (2009). "type-site". The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Archaeology. Oxford: Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/acref/9780199534043.001.0001. ISBN 9780191727139. 
  2. Kipfer, Barbara Ann (2000). "type site". Encyclopedic Dictionary of Archaeology. New York, NY: Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers. p. 580. ISBN 978-0-306-46158-3. 
  3. Kaeser, Marc-Antoine (2019) (in fr). La Tène, ou la construction d'un site éponyme. Drémil-Lafage: Editions Mergoil. ISBN 9782355180927.