Ancient history dating techniques
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You can also view photographs of archaeologists using some of these tools on sites.Archaeologists use a number of different methods to find sites—and sometimes they are found just by accident!
It includes any kind of information passed down by word of mouth, like stories you have been told about your family history, as well as traditions that your family observes.
In this section of Methods of Gathering Data you will learn how archaeologists gather and analyze information by utilizing historical research techniques, field methods for data recovery, and laboratory analyses.
Back to top Every archaeology project begins with a research design –a plan that describes why the archaeology is being done, what research questions it hopes to answer, and the methods and techniques that will be used to gather and analyze the artifacts and other archaeological materials.
It will also outline where artifacts recovered from the project will be stored, and how the research will be reported and shared with the public.
Archival research is often the first step in archaeology.
Archaeologists today collaborate with descendants of Native American peoples, and with African American communities who are only a few generations removed from the lives of their enslaved or free ancestors, to better understand the cultural traditions of their pasts.
Archaeologists working on the 19th century Levi Jordan Plantation in Texas have interviewed descendants of both the plantation owners and the enslaved plantation workers as part of their research.
Open this History Toolkit to learn more about investigating the past with primary sources.
In addition to primary historical documents, archaeologists will look for site reports that have been prepared by other archaeologists who have studied this area.
You may think of shovels when you think of digging, but the most important piece of equipment in the archaeologist’s toolkit is actually the trowel.
A trowel is used to carefully remove thin layers of soil from test units.
Some, like the Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) are very specialized and high tech.