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Archaeological Methods

How do we do archaeology?
Archaeology is the scientific study of past human cultures through the excavation and examination of material remains (sites, features, soils, and artifacts). Our discipline has developed a set of methods to find, identify, and excavate sites to inform us about the past. Typically, we receive training in these methods by participating in an archaeological field school. Here students actually perform excavations and process artifacts, participate in readings and discussions, and visit other archaeological sites. Visitors to our sites often ask: what are we finding; how do we know when we have found something; and how to we figure out how far back in time we have dug? The answers to these questions lies in artifact analysis, research, soil processing, and dating methods.