Archeology in the Field

Introductory text....blah blah blah

Fallen trees are excellent sites to look for artifacts because they often bring long-buried objects to the surface.
Eroded hillside can expose material such as this pile of mussel shells...perhaps indicating that this site was once a garbage pit for a nearby settlement
Small rivers and creeks often expose artifacts such as the mussels, burned rocks, and Early Woodland pottery shards at left through natural processes of erosion. As you can see, exposed objects are not necessarily easy to spot--especially to untrained eyes.
Even farmers plowing their fields can bring objects like this projectile point to the surface.

Though agricultural activities often damage potentially valuable archeological sites, they make it possible to do surface surveys to determine whether a site warrants more organized and professional excavation.

This projectile point, for instance, was found during a surface survey of a disturbed field....
...As were the pottery shards at right.
The picture at left, shows a rock shelter occupied during the Late Woodland period. The presence of such outcrops is another clue archeologists use to decide where to look for materials,
Here, research assistants pose before a Woodland-era burial mound. Much eroded over time and covered by many years of trees, brush, and grasses, such mounds are not uncommon throughout the Midwest...though we often do not notice them.

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   Department of Anthropology
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