Archaeologists study the artifacts of past cultures to learn about their histories, customs, and living habits. They survey and excavate archaeological sites, recording and cataloging their finds, and reconstruct earlier cultures and determine their influences on the present.
Archaeological sites are the physical remains of past civilizations. They can include building debris and the items found
inside, in addition to trash and garbage. Usually these sites have been buried by other, later human activity or by natural processes, making excavation a painstaking process conducted by professionals using modern techniques. Because these sites are so fragile, the very nature of excavating destroys some information.With this in mind, archaeologists are careful to dig only as much as they need to answer important questions. Frequently, archaeologists concentrate their work on sites slated to be destroyed for highway or new building construction.