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Children and Archaeology
Page 7 of 10
What Does an Archaeologist do?
“I spend a lot of time on my computer, writing and conducting research. I spend time overseeing the efforts of my volunteers and staff in washing, labeling, cataloguing, and placing excavated artifacts in permanent storage. I analyze artifacts from excavations the Museum has conducted over the past forty-plus years (this includes weighing the pieces, measuring length, width, thickness, describing the piece, gluing pieces of broken pottery or bone together), and I make these materials available to other researchers in the archaeological community.
“Unlike Indiana Jones and Lara Croft, I don’t have to battle enemies as I work, but I sometimes have to battle the effects of monotony. Archaeology is full of repetitive tasks that cannot be described as exciting, romantic, or intriguing. This includes digging square holes in the ground, mapping the original location of each and every artifact encountered, photographing the location of each artifact recovered, and writing notes about the location of each artifact we come across. This is the epitome of repetition, but it is intentional. It is meant to guard against the loss of information as individual notes, maps, or photographs are passed down or lost.”
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