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.

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

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Necessary Skills

  • Writing
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Speaking
  • Active Listening
  • Critical Thinking
  • Science

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