Ask An Archaeologist
You can e-mail your
questions to the address below and an actual team of archaeologists
will review your questions and e-mail you the answer back!
Click on the address
below and then type in your questions. You should expect an answer
within a few days!
Archaeologists Dave Crass, Dr. Dig,
Rita Folse Elliot, and Christine Van Voorhies
Answers To the Top
Ten Most Frequently Asked Questions About Archaeology
1. No, we rarely find
any gold. We find objects that tell us a great deal more about
how people lived than gold would and, therefore, are much more
2. No, we do not dig
for dinosaur bones. We study how people lived in the past by looking
at the things they left behind.
3. There are many ways
to tell the age of the artifacts we find. The way bottles were
made in the past, or the decoration on dishes, or the shape of
an "arrowhead" all give clues to age.
4. We pick the area
to dig based on where construction will take place, where the
intact soils and artifact areas, and/or places mentioned in older,
5. How deep we dig
depends on the soil build up (or erosion) through time, and whether
features are present that go deeper into the ground, such as trash
pits, wells, or cellars.
6. No, we do not keep anything that
we find. Artifacts are first studied in the lab. Then some are
displayed in museums while many are stored where future researchers
can learn from them.
7. We find items such as dishes, toys,
food bones, and tools that tell us what peoples' lives were like
in the past.
8. No, we are not "from the university"
and we are not students. We are professionsal archaeologists with
bachelor and master degrees and years of specialized training.
9. Yes, we get paid for this. Archaeologists
love their work but we have bills too!
10. "The neatest thing we ever
found" is a hard question! Some artifacts are impressive;
however, many times we find things that turn out to be very neat
because of where they were found or because of they provide an
important link to a particular person or event, not because they
are worth a lot of money.
Back To Student