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21 Things You’ll Learn While Studying Archaeology

by Yolando B. Adams

Not many people know what archaeology is all about. It’s more than just digging up bones and dusty old artifacts. If you study archaeology, you’ll learn how to piece together the stories of people who lived in different cultures long ago. You’ll also develop important skills that can be useful in various careers.

Six reasons to study Archaeology

If you’re thinking about studying archaeology, here are 21 things you’ll learn:

  1. How to read and interpret ancient documents and inscriptions- The ability to read and interpret old documents is essential for any archaeologist. You’ll learn how to decipher hieroglyphics, cuneiform tablets, and other ancient writings.
  2. How to identify and date different artifacts- A big part of archaeology is identifying and dating artifacts. You’ll learn how to determine the age and origins of pottery, tools, jewelry, and other objects.
  3. How to analyze human remains– If you study archaeology, you’ll learn how to handle and analyze human remains properly. This includes learning about different methods of burial and how to identify signs of disease and trauma. Aside from the macabre, this knowledge can help understand the health and lifestyle of ancient cultures.
  4. How to use Geographic Information Systems (GIS)- GIS is a powerful tool that allows archaeologists to map and analyze data. Using GIS, you’ll be able to see patterns and relationships that would otherwise be hidden.
  5. How to restore and conserve artifacts– Once artifacts are excavated, it’s important to restore and conserve them properly. You’ll learn how to clean and repair artifacts so they can be preserved for future generations.
  6. Principles of Stratigraphy– Stratigraphy is the study of layers of sediment. You’ll learn how to use stratigraphy to date archaeological sites and artifacts. This knowledge is essential for understanding the chronological order of events in history.
  7. How to excavate an archaeological site– Excavating an archaeological site is a complex and delicate process. You’ll learn how to properly mine an area, taking care not to damage any artifacts or features.
  8. How to use wheel excavatorsWheel excavators are one of the most important tools used by archaeologists. You’ll learn how to operate these machines to excavate sites safely and efficiently.
  9. How to use a metal detector– Metal detectors can be used to find buried artifacts. Using a metal detector can be a great way to find hidden treasures! You’ll learn how to operate a metal detector and interpret the signals it gives off.
  10. Introduction to Forensic Anthropology– Forensic anthropology is the application of archaeology to criminal investigations. You’ll learn about different forensic analysis methods and how to apply them to cold cases.
  11. Introduction to Zooarchaeology– Zooarchaeology is the study of animal remains. You’ll learn how to identify and analyze different types of animal bones, providing insight into the diets of ancient people.
  12. How to use a Total Station- A Total Station is a surveying instrument used to map archaeological sites. You’ll learn how to set up and operate a Total Station and use the data it collects.
  13. How to use Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR)- GPR is a tool that can be used to find buried artifacts. You’ll learn how to interpret GPR data and how to use it to locate hidden objects.
  14. How to use a Drone– Drones are becoming increasingly popular in archaeology. Once you learn how to fly a drone, you can use it to take aerial photos and videos of archaeological sites.
  15. Introduction to Archaeological Illustration– Archaeological illustration is the process of creating two-dimensional representations of three-dimensional objects. You’ll learn to create accurate drawings and diagrams of artifacts and features.
  16. How to use a Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) scanner– A LiDAR scanner is a tool that uses lasers to create three-dimensional models of archaeological sites. You’ll learn how to operate a LiDAR scanner and interpret the data it produces.
  17. Principles of Archaeometallurgy- Archaeometallurgy is the study of metal artifacts. You’ll learn about different metal production methods and how to identify the characteristics of different types of metals.
  18. Introduction to Ceramics– Ceramics are a common type of artifact that is found at archaeological sites. You’ll learn about different ceramic production methods and how to identify the characteristics of different kinds of ceramics.
  19. How to use a Ground Magnetometer– A ground magnetometer is a tool that can be used to detect buried metal objects. You’ll learn how to interpret the data produced by a ground magnetometer and how to use it to locate hidden artifacts.
  20. Introduction to Soils– Soils are an important part of archaeology. This is because they can contain evidence of past human activity. You’ll learn about different types of soils and how to identify them.
  21. How to use a DNA Analysis– DNA analysis is a powerful tool that can be used in archaeology. You’ll learn how to collect and analyze DNA samples, providing information about the identity of ancient people.

These are just some of the things you’ll learn while studying archaeology! With so much to learn, you’re sure to find something that interests you. So why not give it a try? You might end up finding your passion.

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