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Smithsonian trinomial facts for kids

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Smithsonian trinomials are unique identifiers assigned to archaeological sites in many states in the United States. They are composed of one or two digits coding for the state, typically two letters coding for the county or county-equivalent within the state, and one or more sequential digits representing the order in which the site was listed in that county. The Smithsonian Institution developed the site number system in the 1930s and 1940s. (Trinomials are now assigned by the individual states.) The 48 states then in the union were assigned numbers in alphabetical order. Alaska was assigned number 49 and Hawaii was assigned number 50 after those states were admitted to the union. There are no Smithsonian trinomial numbers assigned for the District of Columbia or any United States territories.

Most states use trinomials of the form "nnAAnnnn", but some specify a space or dash between parts of the identifier, i.e., "nn AA nnnn" or "nn-AA-nnnn". Some states use variations of the trinomial system. Arizona, California, Connecticut, Maine, Rhode Island and Vermont use two-letter abbreviations of the state name instead of the Smithsonian number. Alaska uses three-letter abbreviations for USGS map quadrangles in place of the county code. Arizona uses a five-part identifier based on USGS maps, specifying quadrangles, then rectangles within a quadrangle, a sequential number within the rectangle, and a code identifying the agency issuing the sequential number. California uses a three-letter abbreviation for counties. Connecticut and Rhode Island do not use any sub-state codes, with site identifiers consisting of the state abbreviation and a sequential number series for the whole state. Delaware uses a single letter code for counties and adds a block code (A-K) within each county, with sequential numbers for each block. Hawaii uses a four-part identifier, "50" for the state, a two-digit code for the island, then a two-digit code to designate the USGS topographical quad, plus a four digit sequential site number for sites on each island.

Archaeological site identification codes used by states

State Format County or equivalent codes
Alabama 1AAnnnn AA: Alabama County Abbreviation for Archaeological Site Number Designation
Alaska 49‑AAA‑nnnn AAA: Alaska Quad Map
Arizona AZ AA:nn:nn(XXX) AA:nn: Arizona Quad Names and Numbers
Arkansas 3AAnnnn List of counties in Arkansas
California CA‑AAA‑nnnn AAA: California Counties and their Abbreviations
Colorado 5AAnnnn List of counties in Colorado
Connecticut CT‑nnnnn No county code; state abbreviation and a sequential number only
Delaware 7ABnnnn A: K = Kent County, N = New Castle County, and S = Sussex County. B: Figure 25: Map of blocks
Florida 8AAnnnn List of counties in Florida
Georgia 9AAnnnn AA: County Abbreviation Codes
Hawaii 50‑nn[1]‑nn‑nnnn nn[1]: 10 = Hawaii, 20 = Kaho'olawi, 30 = Kaua'i, 40 = Lana'i, 50 = Maui, 60 = Moloka'i, 80 = O'ahu, 91 = Necker, 92 = Nihoa
Idaho 10AAnnnn
Illinois 11AAnnnn List of counties in Illinois
Indiana 12AAnnnn List of counties in Indiana
Iowa 13AAnnnn AA: Iowa County Abbreviations for Site Designation
Kansas 14AAnnnn AA: Kansas County Abbreviations for Archeological Trinomials
Kentucky 15AAnnnn List of counties in Kentucky
Louisiana 16AAnnnn List of parishes in Louisiana
Maine ME-nn-nn
Maryland 18AAnnnn List of counties in Maryland
Massachusetts 19-AA-nnnn
Michigan 20AAnnnn List of counties in Michigan
Minnesota 21AAnnnn AA: Trinomial Site Designations for MN Counties
Mississippi 22‑AA‑nnnn List of counties in Mississippi
Missouri 23AAnnnn List of counties in Missouri
Montana 24AAnnnn
Nebraska 25AAnnnn
Nevada 26AAnnnn
New Hampshire 27‑AA‑nnnn AA: Belknap (BK) · Carroll (CA) · Cheshire (CH) · Coos (CO) · Grafton (GR) · Hillsborough (HB) · Merrimack (MR) · Rockingham (RK) · Strafford (ST) · Sullivan (SU)
New Jersey 28AAnnnn
New Mexico 29AAnnnn
North Carolina 31AAnnnn AA: Alamance (AM) · Alexander (AX) · Alleghany (AL) · Anson (AN) · Ashe (AH) · Avery (Av) · Beaufort (BF) · Bertie (BR) · Bladen (BL) · Brunswick (BW) · Buncombe (BN) · Burke (BK) · Cabarrus (CA) · Caldwell (CW) · Camden (CM) · Carteret (CR) · Caswell (CS) · Catawba (CT) · Chatham (CH) · Cherokee (CE) · Chowan (CO) · Clay (CY) · Cleveland (CL) · Columbus (CB) · Craven (CV) · Cumberland (CD) · Currituck (CK) · Dare (DR) · Davidson (DV) · Davie (DE) · Duplin (DP) · Durham (DH) · Edgecombe (ED) · Forsyth (FY) · Franklin (FK) · Gaston (GS) · Gates (GA) · Graham (GH) · Granville (GV) · Greene (GR) · Guilford (GF) · Halifax (HX) · Harnett (HT) · Haywood (HW) · Henderson (HN) · Hertford (HF) · Hoke (HK) · Hyde (HY) · Iredell (ID) · Jackson (JK) · Johnston (JT) · Jones (JN) · Lee (LE) · Lenoir (LR) · Lincoln (LN) · Macon (MA) · Madison (MD) · Martin (MT) · McDowell (MC) · Mecklenburg (MK) · Mitchell (ML) · Montgomery (MG) · Moore (MR) · Nash (NS) · New Hanover (NH) · Northampton (NP) · Onslow (ON) · Orange · Pamlico (PM) · Pasquotank (PK) · Pender (PD) · Perquimans (PQ) · Person (PR) · Pitt (PT) · Polk (PL) · Randolph (RD) · Richmond (RH) · Robeson (RB) · Rockingham (RK) · Rowan (RW) · Rutherford (RF) · Sampson (SP) · Scotland (SC) · Stanly (ST) · Stokes (SK) · Surry (SR) · Swain (SW) · Transylvania (TV) · Tyrrell (TY) · Union (UN) · Vance (VN) · Wake (WA) · Warren (WR) · Washington (WH) · Watauga (WT) · Wayne (WY) · Wilkes (WK) · Wilson (WL) · Yadkin (YD) · Yancey (YC)
North Dakota 32AAnnnn AA: NDCRS Site Form Training Manual - Section I: Site Identification - County Codes (Page 10)
Ohio 33‑AA‑nnnn AA: Appendix B: County Codes (OAI Codes) (Page 61)
Oregon 35‑AA‑nnnn List of counties in Oregon
Pennsylvania 36‑AA‑nnnn List of counties in Pennsylvania
Rhode Island RI‑nnnn No county code; state abbreviation and a sequential number only
South Carolina 38‑AA‑nnnn List of counties in South Carolina
South Dakota 39AAnnnn
Tennessee 40AAnnnn AA: County Abbreviations for Archaeological Site Numbers
Texas 41‑AA‑nnnn AA: Texas County Abbreviations
Utah 42‑AA‑nnnn List of counties in Utah
Vermont VT‑AA‑nnnn AA: Addison (AD) · Bennington (BE) · Caledonia (CA) · Chittenden (CH) · Essex (ES) · Franklin (FR) · Grand Isle (GI) · Lamoille (LA) · Orange · Orleans (OL) · Rutland (RU) · Washington (WA) · Windham (WD) · Windsor (WN)
Virginia 44-AA-nnnn
Washington 45‑AA‑nnnn List of counties in Washington
West Virginia 46‑AA‑nnnn List of counties in West Virginia
Wisconsin 47‑AA‑nnnn List of counties in Wisconsin
Wyoming 48AAnnnn List of counties in Wyoming and also YE for sites within Yellowstone National Park
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