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Archaeologist » Overview


Archaeologists study past societies, people and cultures by investigating and examining materials and artefacts, and by surveying historical sites. They discover, collect and analyse material remains of past societies and cultures to learn about the way people lived in the past.

Archaeologists are often involved in finding and excavating historical sites to collect artefacts for examination in a laboratory. To do so, they use tools such as shovels, trowels and brushes before examining the artefacts under specialised microscopes and x-ray machines. It is the job of the archaeologist to determine when and how these artefacts were used.

After conducting field work and analysing objects in the lab, archaeologists write up their findings which may then go on to be published in journals or books. Their findings are very important in helping us to understand where we came from and how our ancestors might have lived.

Many archaeologists work for government agencies or are employed by universities. Those who work for the government are also likely to be involved in protecting and conserving archaeological sites. Others may work for engineering firms, independent research centres or museums.