You might be wondering how experts were able to discover and tell people events from the past. How were they able to know how people of the past lived, what their lives look like, how civilization came to life, how these ancient stuffs and artefacts can be seen in museums now. Who are these people who have discovered these things and facts? They are said to be Archaeologists and they are the experts in the field of Archaeology.
Archaeology, according to the definitions of various reference books, is the study of the human past, their activities, by recovering and analysing materials and things such as artefacts, bio facts, architecture, and so on. It is said to be a branch in anthropology, a social science that studies relationships among human beings as well as their origin. This branch of anthropology though focuses more on the prehistoric times, prehistoric people, and their activities and culture.
When the word archaeology pops out of nowhere, is heard or mentioned somewhere, probably one of the things that mostly comes in mind is that it refers to digging and finding whatever useful thing that is filled with historical facts anywhere in the ground in the lands of earth. However, it is not just that, though. Archaeology requires more of just digging grounds, looking for things. It also requires knowledge, critical thinking, and analysis. Archaeologist in order to come up with, dig and find, materials and stuffs that can be useful in uncovering the human beings’ past lives and culture, must also use different methods and undergo different phases.
Out of all the different methods and phases archaeologists have to go through to discover something, some of the most common includes research, fieldwork and field survey, laboratory analysis, and so on. These three however are the most basic of the archaeological process. Before doing any digging, archaeologist must do the researches first. It is like testing the waters first before going in. Archaeologist cannot just start digging anywhere without certain research to support their thinking that there might be something yet to be discovered under the ground. Through researching, they might encounter questions to be answered, theories to be made, and hypothesis to prove. But also along the way, they might also discover answers and proofs without excavating and doing fieldworks.
After going through research, when they cannot find answers by just doing so, archaeologists then find certain areas during specific dates and do fieldwork in these places. They dig and dig until they find something worth it. Excavation is said to be the most expensive phase an archaeologist does, though. After finding something underneath the soil of the earth, it is then sent to the laboratory for analysis. Intensive analysis of the found artefacts as well as proper and careful handling of these things should be done. Some artefacts are very fragile and should be handled in utmost care.
These are just the basics though. Just the surface and there is absolutely more to these phases. There is still more to what archaeologists do to discover the past of human beings. There are also certain procedures that they do, protocols they have to follow, and rules they have to abide.