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What does an archaeologist do?

Archaeologists study the origin and development of human beings and their societies, both past and present. They examine cultures, languages, behaviors, archaeological remains, and physical characteristics of people in many parts of the world.

Building on knowledge from the humanities and social, physical, and biological sciences, archaeologists use scientific sampling techniques to guide them as to where they need to dig on the site. They observe, record, categorize, and interpret what they find, then share their findings with other scientists and the public. Archaeologists use sophisticated technologies in their work, including excavating tools, laboratory equipment, statistical and database software, and geographic information systems (GIS).

An archaeologist plans research projects to answer questions and test hypotheses about human activity. They develop data collection methods tailored to a particular project; collect information from observations, interviews, and documents; record field observations; analyze laboratory samples and other sources to uncover patterns about human life, culture, and origins; write reports and give presentations, and advise organizations on the cultural impact of proposed policies.

Archaeologist divide history into eight distinct time periods: Stone Age, Chalolithic, Bronze Age, Iron Age, Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, and Islamic. . Each time period can also be sub-divided .

Landscape archaeologists search for traces of ancient sites.

Archaeological surveyors plan and record earthworks, buildings, and excavated sites.

Field technicians do the hard work of excavation and extraction of relics.

Archaeological photographers take photos of the site and of individual relics.

Archaeological conservators preserve the artifacts for future generations.

Finds specialists date, analyze, identify, and interpret artifacts.

Archaeological illustrators draw objects and create archaeological publications.

Environmental scientists reconstruct the relationships between past societies and the environments they lived in, identifying their diet, health, and living conditions.

Human bones experts interpret human skeletal remains.

Finds curators organize long-term storage and aftercare of artifacts.


Source: What does an archaeologist do?
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