Archaeological sites are the basis of much of our knowledge of the past. Even postcolumbian sites can provide information which is unavailable from other sources. While synthesis of the information that archaeologists obtain from sites is the ultimate goal, most people have more interest in the excavations done at particular sites.
One of the best archaeological web sites is the Jamestown site. This site describes the discovery of James Fort. An image map of the archaeological site allows the reader to choose which area of the site they would like to learn more about. The site provides descriptions of the various features excavated as well as excellent photos of the feature. While the site is primarily descriptive it does provide some interpretation of the findings. There are also online exhibits at the site which describe and show different artifacts found at the site.
Another excellent web presentation is the web site for the La Salle Shipwreck. The site provides the historical background of the shipwreck as well as a description of the excavations. The most exciting and interesting feature of this presentation is a series of photo albums of the archaeological excavations. By viewing these photo presentations one can follow the progression of the project from the building of the cofferdam around the shipwreck to the conservation of the artifacts. This presentation allows the viewer to see an archaeological project in action and how it progresses through time.
The Emanuel Point Shipwreck can be seen through a virtual underwater tour of the wreck. By choosing a section of the ship, the reader is shown images of the ship and provided with descriptions if those areas. The site also provides other general project information as well as the history of the project and historical background of the site.
The Cahokia web site provides very little information about the people who lived there. The site primarily describes the mounds. There is a list of the mounds found at the site with brief descriptions of the mounds. These descriptions generally consist of one image of the mound and the moundís measurements. If there has been archaeological excavations at the mound there is more detailed description of the stratigraphy.
The web site for Chaco Canyon is very minimal. What information that is there is primarily in a textual format. There is however a link to a 3-D tour of the Great Kiva which is very interesting.
The Aucilla River Project has a virtual exhibit of the project which integrates text and images much like a museum exhibit.
Many web pages for archaeological sites provide very little information. What information there is is largely descriptive with few images. Hopefully these sites will eventually expand and offer more information about the sites as well as interpretation.