A researcher who uses carbon dating on ancient items
This archival research may take the archaeologist to public or university libraries, the local historical society or courthouse—or even into people’s homes!
Primary historical documents that archaeologists may consult before beginning their field research include: maps and/or photographs of the area, newspapers, land and tax records, and diaries and letters.
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.
The methods used to find sites will depend upon the kind of research questions that the archaeologist is trying to answer.
Over the past 150 years archaeologists have developed many effective methods and techniques for studying the past.
Archaeologists also rely upon methods from other fields such as history, botany, geology, and soil science.
These reports will describe what was found in this area during any previous archaeological investigations and will help guide the new research.
Documentation files for all of the recorded prehistoric and historic sites in each state are maintained in the State Historic Preservation Office, along with archaeological research reports pertaining to sites in the state.
The prehistoric burials at Low Hauxley on the coast of England were discovered by an observant beach walker who noticed a stone box sticking out of a sand dune after a storm.