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Hi, my name is Ryan Murphy and I would like to invite you on an adventure through time by exploring the exciting world of archaeology. I work as a field technician for the Seminole Tribe of Florida’s Tribal Historic Preservation Office. Everyday my co-workers and I conduct archaeological excavations to discover, preserve, and document sites of historical significance. Archaeology is defined as the scientific study of cultures through the examination of their material remains such as buildings, tools, and other artifacts usually dug up from the ground. Join me in the following video where you will be introduced to some of the field techniques used by archaeologists in the field.
This is field assistant Derek Braun. Listen closely as he explains how a total station is used to collect accurate survey data such as grid points and how that data is utilized during archaeological excavations. The total station is a powerful tool allowing for pinpoint accuracy, which is very important for archaeologists. During archaeological excavations many questions are answered, but often times new questions arise creating the need for future investigations into specific areas. The precise data recorded with the total station allows archaeologists to return to an exact area, even years later when the environmental conditions may have changed dramatically.
Oh, there I am in a hole again with field assistant Ryan Hesse who is waiting eagerly for more dirt to screen. This is not just any hole in the ground; it’s a special hole containing archaeological data. I am actually standing in a 1 x 2 meter test unit, which is just one of several that were excavated to gather data pertaining to a site known as Bird Cluster. Faunal material, such as bone and shell, was discovered within this test unit. You will notice that I am taking careful measurements and being very cautious as I excavate. This is very important because archaeology is naturally a destructive process. In other words, every detail must be documented because digging and removing affects the integrity of the site as a whole. At the top of the unit, Ryan is screening all the material excavated from the test unit. He is carefully collecting any cultural material, lets listen to him explain the excavation.