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Archeology for Interpreters > 4. What Do Archeologists Do?

Introduction

(photo) Archeologists screen excavated soil at the Presidio.

Archeologists excavate at Crissy Field at the Presidio of San Francisco in Golden Gate National Recreation Area. (Will Elder)

The identification, evaluation, and treatment of archeological sites are essential activities for effective cultural resource management. Archeologists cannot make appropriate decisions regarding resource treatment without knowing about their locations and significance.

Site management involves many steps such as developing a research design, preservation, stabilization, and public education and site interpretation, which are discussed below. Knowing the locations of archeological resources also enables archeologists and law enforcement to prepare documentation related to ARPA violations.

Try it yourself

Archaeological Survey in the Field, The Basin of Mexico
This simulation allows you to direct an archeological survey—from creating the budget to using geophysical methods and analyzing your finds.

For your information

A prehistoric or historic resource's significance is often evaluated according to National Register of Historic Places criteria. The National Register Bulletin on Guidelines for Evaluating and Registering Archeological Properties provides guidance for evaluating archeological properties.

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