Excavating is a process that can be used to uncover buried objects or features. It involves the use of tools and techniques to remove soil, sediment, and other material from an archaeological site. Excavation is often the first step in the process of studying and conserving a site.
The purpose of the excavation is to expose as much of the buried site as possible so that it can be studied. However, there are many other reasons why people excavate. Excavation can be used to:
- Find and recover artifacts
- Determine the layout of a site
- Uncover environmental evidence
- Investigate how a site was used over time
- Document and preserve a site for future generations
Excavation in Utah or wherever you are located is a destructive process. It can damage or destroy the very things that we are trying to learn about. Therefore, it is important to excavate with care. Here are 10 unexpected things you might find while excavating:
- Artifact– An artifact is an object that has been made, used, or modified by humans. Artifacts can be anything from simple stone tools to complex pieces of machinery. When excavating, artifacts are often the first things that are found.
- Bones– No, we’re not talking about ancient human remains (although that would certainly be unexpected). We’re talking about the bones of animals, both large and small. If you’re excavating in an area that was once home to wildlife, it’s not uncommon to find a few bones here and there.
- Plants– Plants can provide information about the local environment and climate. They can also be used to date a site. If you find a plant that is no longer living in the area, it can help narrow down when the site was occupied.
- Buried treasure– You never know what you’ll find when you start digging! It could be anything from a lost ancient artifact to a hidden cache of gold. When you’re excavating, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for anything valuable that may be hidden underground.
- Buildings– The remains of buildings can tell us a lot about the people who lived in them. We can learn about their architecture, how they were constructed, and what materials were used. We can also often infer the function of a building from its remains.
- Tools– Tools can be made of stone, metal, wood, or any other material. They were used for a variety of tasks, such as hunting, farming, and carpentry. Tools can tell us about the technology of a culture and how they interacted with their environment. When excavating, some tools may be found in their original use-wear patterns, which can provide valuable information about the people who used them.
- Weapons– Weapons are often found at archaeological sites. They can be made of stone, metal, wood, or any other material. Weapons can tell us about the violence of a culture and how they defended themselves. When excavating, there is a danger of coming into contact with sharp objects, so be careful!
- Coins or Money– Coins and money can be made of precious metals, such as gold or silver, or they can be made of more common materials, such as copper or iron. They can tell us about the economy of a culture and how they interacted with other cultures. Coins and money are often found in burial sites, so be careful when excavating human remains.
- Trash– Trash is any material that is unwanted or no longer needed. It can tell us a lot about the daily life of a culture and what they considered to be valuable. Trash is often found in middens, which are special areas set aside for dumping garbage. This type of refuse can be very smelly, so be prepared!
- Shells– Shells are another common find, especially in coastal areas. They can be from different types of animals, including mollusks, turtles, and crabs. When they’re found in an excavation, they can help to date the site.
These are just a few of the many things that you might find while excavating. Be prepared for anything, and always excavate with care!