Excavation is the most direct way to find out what happened in the past. Digging through layers of the earth can help archeologists, historians, and anthropologists understand how people lived long ago, from what they ate to what their houses looked like. It is an unrepeatable process where any error can cause damage to the data of the human past. The excavation is undertaken carefully and closely supervised.
Archaeology is the study of human activity in the past, primarily through the recovery and analysis of material culture. The archaeological record consists of artifacts, architecture, biofacts or ecofacts, and cultural landscapes. Archaeologists use a variety of methods to excavate sites, including excavation, survey, and remote sensing.
The goal of archaeology is to interpret the past through material remains. This interpretation provides an understanding of human behavior and can be used to reconstruct past cultures.
How do archaeologists excavate?
Archaeological excavation is the process of uncovering artifacts and other evidence of past human life and activity. It is usually done in conjunction with research in order to better understand a particular site or culture. The process can be very painstaking, but it can also be very rewarding. Here are seven steps to get you started on your next excavation
1. Define your research goals. What do you hope to learn from the excavation?
2. Choose a site. Where will you conduct your excavation?
3. Obtain permits. You’ll need permission from the landowner before you can begin excavating.
4. Prepare the site. This step involves clearing away any vegetation and topsoil from the area you’ll be excavating.
5. Begin excavating. Start by digging a trench around the perimeter of the excavation area (Read more ‘Archaeologists and Artefacts: How We Determine What’s Worth Digging Up’)
6. Record your findings. Be sure to document everything you find during the excavation process.
7. Clean up and backfill the site.
Vertical and Horizontal excavation
When you think of archaeology, you might imagine someone dusting off ancient bones or pottery in a dimly lit museum. But the first step in preserving history is excavating it from the ground. Archaeologists use two main methods of excavation: vertical and horizontal.
Vertical excavation reveals the sequence of changes within site over the period of time.
Whereas, horizontal excavation shows a site as it was at a fixed period. Exploring multiple things on the top of surfaces rather than digging really far down.
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