During a soil survey, a project site is systematically surveyed for indications of archaeological remains (pottery, bones, charcoal, etc.). Usually, a drilling grid is used based on the expected archaeological value of the area. The aim of this phase is to determine the exact locations of archaeological remains.
When the project area is small, it could be advisable to combine the exploratory phase and the soil survey, in order to reduce cost. In a large project area, it may be advisable to separate the two phases by evaluating the findings of the exploratory phase before commencing the soil survey. This way, parts of the project area may be excluded from the soil survey.
The soil survey will lead to a selection advice that can be converted into a selection decision by the proper authorities. If necessary, an archaeological evaluation can then be carried out.