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What is Archaeology?

Archaeology is the scientific study of mankind's past carried out by analysing the physical remains of human activities. These remains can be found in various forms, from artefacts such as stone hammers, stone ornaments and fragments of pottery to structures such as houses, forts and graves. Different scientific methods are used to locate sites of archaeological potential both on land and underwater: archaeologists may simply walk across a site, carefully observing the ground as they go (field walking); they may consult historical texts and maps; they may analyse aerial photographs or even employ satellite imagery (remote sensing). Small test pits are then dug or auger holes are drilled to study the different layers in the ground (stratigraphy) and provide a basis for planning the next steps. In an excavation, all finds and structures are carefully exposed and systematically recorded. The information they provide is analysed and used to explain the way of life led by people in the past.

The study of archaeology is of great importance for every society today, as it can give us a better understanding of our own history and the cultural transformation that the place we come from has undergone. Archaeology and the knowledge gained from archaeological research help to enhance our sense of belonging to the community in which we live.


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