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JC History
Asked a question 4 years ago

What stuff do you need to know about an archaeologist at work for the Junior Cert?

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My name is .... and I’m an archaeologist. I discover and examine artefacts (man-made objects) to find out more about the past. Archaeology is the study of ancient things. I am currently on a dig at a site in....after I used an aerial photograph and a field walk to find an archaeological site. Sometimes people find it through pure luck, that’s how the Armagh chalice was found! Firstly, I make a detailed map of the site and divide it into grids. I then built a trial trench and after finding 2 coins and a ring I decided to do a full excavation. I then sealed off the area from the general public to ensure no damage will take place. Firstly, I removed the topsoil. The trowel is the main tolls used for digging. This is a very slow and painstaking job. I dig carefully as I don’t want to damage any artefacts. After I dig I place all the contents in a sieve so as to separate the soil from any artefacts. All objects are they carefully cleaned with a small brush or sometimes even with a toothbrush. Photographic scales (red and white poles) are placed next to large objects in order to judge the size of it. Each artefact I find is placed in a polythene bag and given a letter and number using the site grid. I will date the objects back in the lab using carbon 14 dating, dendrochronology and stratigraphy. Carbon 14 dating is accurate up to 50000 years and is bases on the amount of carbon left in an object. The older the artefact is the less carbon it will have. I use dendrochronology to study the hopes off tree rings which tells me the age of the tree. Stratigraphy dates artefacts by the other objects at the same level in the ground. I will place all artefacts in a museum such as the nation museum and here they will be protected and cared for, this will also lead to more tourists visiting the country to view these artefacts.