The lack of surface evidence meant that general systematized trenching had to be done throughout the area of probable occupation. Six trenches were dug in each of the 30 meter blocks thought to be worth testing. These trenches were 1 meter wide and excavated into sterile soil on a north-south axis. The trenches in each block were numbered from I-VI and given the grid block label in which they were dug; thus, Block D:7 Trench III. The artifacts from each trench were analyzed separately in order that differences in the various sections of the site could be detected.
The process of trenching led to the discovery of many features not visible on the surface. When necessary, the trenches were widened in order to expose the features more completely for observation, mapping-,, and photography. Structures, as they were detected were excavated by digging a trench around the limits of the floor area. The central fill above the floor was then removed to within 10 centimeters of the floor. The artifacts in the last 10 centimeters above the floor were assumed to belong to the period of occupation of the structure. Detailed floor plans and cross sections were made of all structures which showed anything at all of their original form. Cooking pits were exposed and left in place to show their original depth and shape.
Stratigraphic studies were carried out extensively. The study of surface collections indicating that the occupation of Valshni Village covered a long period of time, while the knowledge that dendrochronology dates would not be available, made these studies mandatory. Only one structure was found superimposed upon another. This made it necessary to do the studies using trash deposits, which were available in two forms; sheet rubbish and mounded rubbish. No rubbish pits were found. The sheet rubbish was found across the entire site, however, it was too thin and mixed to be of much aid. The mounds provided the best prospects for obtaining the desired stratigraphy.
The four main mounds averaged 22 meters in diameter and 1.5 meters in height. The surrounding land was almost flat, so they had not been complicated by wash from upslope. All of the mounds had been heavily burrowed by rodents.
The four larger mounds were tested by using an arbitrary testing procedure. Each of these mounds was tested across its diameter by removing blocks that were one meter long, one-half meter wide, and twenty-five or fifty centimeters thick. The thickness was determined by the size of the mound. The smaller fifth mound was sampled by a broad trench cut through its center.
The mound fill in each stratigraphic block was screened through one-half inch wire mesh. The pottery from each block was then bagged separately from other blocks, and eventually washed and sorted.