Misconceptions About Archaeology
But in reality… Paleontologists study the fossils of extinct animals, including dinosaurs. Geologists study rocks. Archaeologists study people of the past through the things they left behind.
But in reality… Taking artifacts without proper scientific methods destroys irreplaceable evidence from the past. Federal and state laws do not allow the removal of artifacts from public lands without a permit.
But in reality… Professional archaeologists do not keep, buy, sell, or trade any artifacts. They believe that the objects they excavate should be available for study or display. By law, artifacts recovered from federal or state lands belong to the public, and must be taken care of on behalf of the public.
But in reality… Archaeologists dig in order to find out how ancient peoples lived. In order to do this, they look for clues such as stone tools, pottery, plants, and animal bones.
But in reality… Archaeology is more than digging. Archaeologists do not spend a lot of time excavating. Instead, they spend a lot of time in the laboratory, analyzing and interpreting their finds.
But in reality… While studying human remains can provide a lot of important details about past peoples, these studies are delicate and time-consuming. For these reasons, as well as respect for cultural sensitivities about deceased ancestors, archaeologists think carefully before unearthing a burial.