Few of the tools used by archaeologists are exclusive to archaeology in the way a stethoscope is to a physician. Some are simple garden-variety solutions to straightforward problems. Others, especially in recent years, apply modern technology to record-keeping and to “seeing” beneath the surface of the ground.
Archaeological tools serve three objectives: to identify a place to dig; to expose structures and artifacts belonging to different strata occupied at different periods; and to record the location of all finds so that exact reconstruction is possible when all physical evidence is removed from the dig site. Let’s look at some tools used to meet these three objectives.