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What do Archeologists do?

Conduct research to reconstruct record of past human life and culture from human remains, artifacts, architectural features, and structures recovered through excavation, underwater recovery, or other means of discovery.

What are the Main Tasks of Archeologists?

  • Write, present, and publish reports that record site history, methodology, and artifact analysis results, along with recommendations for conserving and interpreting findings.
  • Compare findings from one site with archeological data from other sites to find similarities or differences.
  • Research, survey, or assess sites of past societies and cultures in search of answers to specific research questions.
  • Study objects and structures recovered by excavation to identify, date, and authenticate them and to interpret their significance.
  • Develop and test theories concerning the origin and development of past cultures.
  • Consult site reports, existing artifacts, and topographic maps to identify archeological sites.
  • Create a grid of each site and draw and update maps of unit profiles, stratum surfaces, features, and findings.
  • Record the exact locations and conditions of artifacts uncovered in diggings or surveys, using drawings and photographs as necessary.
  • Assess archeological sites for resource management, development, or conservation purposes and recommend methods for site protection.
  • Describe artifacts' physical properties or attributes, such as the materials from which artifacts are made and their size, shape, function, and decoration.
  • Teach archeology at colleges and universities.
  • Collect artifacts made of stone, bone, metal, and other materials, placing them in bags and marking them to show where they were found.
  • Create artifact typologies to organize and make sense of past material cultures.
  • Lead field training sites and train field staff, students, and volunteers in excavation methods.
  • Clean, restore, and preserve artifacts.
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