Experience Archaeology

Archaeologists investigate material culture to understand our shared human past. They employ a unique blend of science and humanities, and follow a scientific process that includes multiple steps. During a long-term investigation of a site, archaeologists often revisit and revise these steps many times.

STEP 1: RESEARCH DESIGN

Archaeology is a science, and like other sciences, responsible and effective archaeological investigations begin with a research design.  Read More...

STEP 2: FIELD WORK

Fieldwork is the time when archaeologists get to head out to a site and get their hands dirty. It can be the most fun and exciting part of being an archaeologist. Read More...

Tools of the Trade

Tools of the Trade

Secret weapons of archaeologists!

Geophysics

Geophysics

Peering underground without digging

Survey

Survey

What do we have here?

Ground-Penetrating Radar

Ground-Penetrating Radar

GPR maps features such as walls, trenches, pits, and more.

Magnetometry

Magnetometry

Magnetic survey measures the variation of magnetic fields of the earth.

Resistivity

Resistivity

Resistance survey measures the subsurface variation in soil.

Magnetic Susceptibility

Magnetic Susceptibility

This survey induces an electromagnetic field into the earth through a transmitting coil.

Why LiDAR?

Why LiDAR?

Find out here!

STEP 3: EXPERIMENTAL ARCHAEOLOGY

Experimental archaeology is a process by which an archaeologist replicates artifacts and features such as structures, tools, or ancient technologies in order to better understand how they were made and used. Read More...

Flintknapping

Flintknapping

Ian Thompson

The Atlatl

The Atlatl

Learn how to throw a spear like a pro!

Ceramic Design

Ceramic Design

Milford Nahohai

Stone Blade Surgery

Stone Blade Surgery

Dr. Adrien Hannus

Ancient Technology

Ancient Technology

Mary Weahkee

STEP 4: ANALYSIS

Meanwhile, back in the lab . . .
For every hour archaeologists spend in the field, they will spend many more in a scientific laboratory washing, separating, labeling, cataloging, and analyzing artifacts. Read More...

Dendrochronology

Dendrochronology

What can tree rings tell us about the past?

The Science of Soil

The Science of Soil

Sterile vs. cultural soil

Archaeomagnetic Dating

Archaeomagnetic Dating

Matching polar directions

Bones to DNA

Bones to DNA

Studying ancient bison

Botany

Botany

Why the study of plants tells us so much about people

Iron Conservation

Iron Conservation

Preserving artifacts for future study

Scientific Illustration

Scientific Illustration

Illustrating artifacts to preserve the original source

Zooarchaeology

Zooarchaeology

Animal bones and archaeology

Radiocarbon Dating

Radiocarbon Dating

The Radioactive Clock

Isotope Analysis

Isotope Analysis

Chemistry in service of archaeology

Laser Ablation

Laser Ablation

How teeth can tell the time

XRF

XRF

Exciting electrons to interpret artifacts

STEP 5: INTERPERTATION & OUTREACH

Interpret
In order to decipher the meaning behind archaeological finds, archaeologists rely on investigative tools that help them figure out how and why a site was formed. Almost more important . . . Read More...

Anasazi Heritage Center

Anasazi Heritage Center

The Center curates artifacts, and provides public outreach programs.

Get Involved!

Get Involved!

Discover a wealth of resources for how to get involved in your own community.

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DIG IN

Archaeology 101

Archaeology 101

Let's start with the basics

Deciphering the Disciplines

Deciphering the Disciplines

The archaeology family tree

WATCH

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