You can also view photographs of archaeologists using some of these tools on sites.Archaeologists use a number of different methods to find sites—and sometimes they are found just by accident!These reports will describe what was found in this area during any previous archaeological investigations and will help guide the new research.Documentation files for all of the recorded prehistoric and historic sites in each state are maintained in the State Historic Preservation Office, along with archaeological research reports pertaining to sites in the state.
A burial ground with remains of more than 400 17th and 18th century Africans was discovered during building construction in New York City.
This archival research may take the archaeologist to public or university libraries, the local historical society or courthouse—or even into people’s homes!
Primary historical documents that archaeologists may consult before beginning their field research include: maps and/or photographs of the area, newspapers, land and tax records, and diaries and letters.
Open this History Toolkit to learn more about investigating the past with primary sources.
In addition to primary historical documents, archaeologists will look for site reports that have been prepared by other archaeologists who have studied this area.