Primary documents could include: maps and/or photographs of the area, newspapers, land and tax records, and diaries or letters.
In addition to primary historical documents, archaeologists will look for site reports that other archaeologists have written about this area.
An observant beach walker discovered the prehistoric burials at Low Hauxley on the coast of England.
A stone box had been sticking out of a sand dune after a storm.
First they will check if there were any previous surveys in the area and, if so, what the results were.
If there are no previously recorded sites, the archaeologist will conduct an archaeological survey.
Archival research is often the first step in archaeology.
This research uncovers the written records associated with the study area.
They need equipment to dig, sift, measure, and analyze artifacts.
Some, like Scanning Electron Microscopes (SEM) are very specialized.
The methods used by archaeologists to gather data can apply to any time period, including the recent past. This "garbology" project proved that even recent artifacts can reveal a lot about the people who used and discarded them.
has become known for his study of the garbage discarded by the people of Tuscon, Arizona in the 1970s!
An archaeological predictive model is a tool that indicates the probability that an archaeological site exists in a certain area.