Archaeologists use excavation to extract artifacts from the ground. This is extremely precise work due to the fact archaeology is a destructive process. Once the objects are removed from their place, any information associated with their location is lost unless it is recorded. Detailed notes must be kept of how the site is being excavated, what's being found and where. Once the artifacts are taken from the ground, they cannot be put back. Archaeologists cannot know for sure what is under the ground before excavation, so they must plan to excavate slowly and carefully.
South Carolina Archaeology Public Outreach Division
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