People in History: An archaeologist at work

Archaeologists working at an excavation (a dig).
The archaeologist is the first person you're asked to write a People in History answer on. So what are the main points you need to include to have a good answer?
  • Start out by explaining your job. What does an archaeologist do, and why?
  • Next, you can say you're on an excavation (a dig). Start by explaining how you found the site you're working on. Was it aerial photography? A chance discovery? A story you heard? Maybe it was a combination of these reasons?
  • You can mention that many sites are discovered by accident when construction work is going on.
  • Next, you can explain the steps of the excavation: surveying the site, removing the topsoil, and digging. Also explain what tools you use - the more details you have, the better!
  • Congratulations! You've found an artefact. Don't forget to explain what that word means. After that, talk about what happens to an artefact after it's found. Where does it go?
  • Once an artefact is found and catalogued, archaeologists use several methods to find out when it is from. Explain the methods you have studied to date an artefact. Dendrochronology, radiocarbon dating, stratigraphy... how do they work?
  • When all the studying and testing is finished, you might give the artefact to a museum so that people can see it. This is called conservation. Explaining why archaeologists do this is a good way to end this answer.
So, in short...
  1. Explain your job.
  2. Explain how you found the site you're working on.
  3. Explain the steps of an excavation and the tools you're using.
  4. Explain what happens to an artefact once it's found.
  5. Explain how archaeologists date artefacts.
  6. Explain what conservation is and why we conserve artefacts.

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