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Dating methods used in an archaeological excavation

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For archaeologists, graves have provided a very important source of knowledge about past cultures.

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It attempts to understand our current culture and cultural trends by examining material found at modern dump sites.Consequently, very little was learned about the cultures that made those artifacts.Modern archaeologists are much more thorough in their research.Because most early archaeological expeditions were financed by private individuals and wealthy collectors, broken artifacts were often left behind.Only intact and highly crafted items were thought to have any value.Archaeological artifacts can include anything from ancient Greek pottery vessels found at the bottom of the sea to disposable plastic bottles found at modern dump sites.

Thus, studies in archaeology can extend from the beginning of human prehistory to the most recent of modern times.

The Indiana Jones movie character, for example, is based on the fantastic exploits of a classical archaeologist.

Before the twentieth century, most archaeology consisted of randomly collecting artifacts that could be found lying on the surface of sites or in caves.

Artifact: In archaeology, any human-made item that relates to the culture under study.

Classical archaeology: Archaeological research that deals with ancient history, ancient architecture, or any of the now-extinct civilizations, such as Greek, Egyptian, Roman, Aztec, or Mayan.

It also requires all museums and universities that receive federal funding to repatriate or give back their Native American collections to tribes who claim cultural or religious ownership over those materials.