Questions and Answers?
Q. How do archaeologists know where to dig?
A. They look for things that builders or farmers have uncovered, or they look
for old buildings, ruins, unusual mounds, sunken spots in the land, or artifacts
on the surface of the ground.
Q. What are archaeologists looking for?
A. Archaeologists are looking for evidence of human activities, things made
or used by people in the past. These things are called artifacts.
Q. What kinds of artifacts do archaeologists find?
A. Mostly things made of stone, pottery, or bone. Things made of plants or wood,
called organic materials, decay over time. But stone, pottery, or harder organic
materials, like bone or shell, last much longer.
Q. What can archaeologists learn from artifacts?
A. Artifacts can tell us is how old a site is. People used different stone tools
at different times. Large stone points may look like arrowheads, but were made
for long lances used to hunt mammoths. Over time, as the animals people hunted
changed, and so did the projectile points they used to hunt them. Pottery also
tells us about how old a site is, and it can give us clues about what group
of people lived there. Where an artifact is found and what it is found with
can also give us clues to how people in the past lived.
Q. How do things get buried so far down in the ground?
A. Over the years, dirt and other debris blows over it, water and mud wash over
it, covering up what was left behind.
Q. What should I do if I find an artifact?
A. Tell an archaeologist at a museum, with a local university, your state, or
your local archaeological society.