History Diggers – Archaeologists

Image Credit: Flickr User Odense Bys Museer, via CC

You must have heard about bone diggers or nose diggers, but what is history diggers? Before we come to that let us look at another set of questions.

How do we get to know about the history? About something that happened in the past? How did we get to know so much about dinosaurs when they existed millions of years ago? How do we know about ancient Egypt and its pyramids? How do we know about how people lived in the stone age?

The clues to all that has happened in the past are hidden deep inside the earth. We need to dig out the secrets, and that is where the history diggers come into the picture.

People who are especially trained to dig out these clues are called archaeologists (Pronounced ahr-kee-ol-uh-jists) or history diggers. Archaeologists are trained scientists! They help know the world about historic and prehistoric peoples and their cultures by analysis of their artifacts, inscriptions, monuments, and other such remains.

To excavate these remains, archaeologists first zero in on a place where they highly suspect that they will find the buried clues. They start by dividing the site into smaller grids. Sometimes it takes days, even months to study a site. They have to work under harsh weather conditions. Their office is out in the open! ;)

Have you heard about ancient Egyptian ruler Tutankhamun? After his tomb was discovered in the valley of kings in Egypt, It took famous archaeologist Howard Carter eight years to empty the tomb of King Tutankhamun and transport its contents to Cairo.

Image Credit: Flickr User USACE Europe District, via CC

Archaeologists use a lot of specialized tools to conduct their researches. Shovels, hoes, wheelbarrows, and trowels are often used for digging. Gloves and safety glasses are never forgotten since you never know what you will dig into! Big sieves, and screens are very necessary tools. They are used to sift through debris like soil, gravel and clay while useful stuff if any, stays at the top. Different sizes of hand brooms and brushes are used to dust the objects found. These finds are recorded right away.

Do we know when the first clue to the existence of dinosaurs was found out? Yes. In 1824, archaeologist William Buckland formally recorded finding remains of Megalosaurus.

World would have hardly known anything about the mysteries of space had it not been for space scientists. In the same way, we would have not learned anything about our history had it not been for archaeologists – our social scientists!

Imagine living in a world without any history. It sounds terribly boring to me! Only knowing about the present and not a whiff of what existed in past in our world. Duh! I wish I could change my job and become an archaeologist ;)

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