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This Web site was funded by the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans).

It was created by Anthropological Studies Center (ASC).

Planning the Excavation

The first step in any archaeological excavation is to prepare a plan for how the Research Design and Treatment Plansexcavation and analysis will be conducted. This is often called a Research Design and Treatment Plan. It lays out the excavation strategy that will be followed, and how the artifacts will be collected and treated back in the lab. Most importantly, for projects on historic sites, the Research Design and Treatment Plan contains historical research about the project area, and uses that research to identify areas that may contain undisturbed archaeological deposits.Why is Archaeology Worth Doing?Why Archaeology is Important Archaeologist working under an overpass

Doing archaeology in the city has its share of challenges. Sites are often next to roads or beneath overpasses, making for cramped, dark, working conditions and constant noise. Protective clothing and other precautions are often necessary to protect archaeologists against soils contaminated by lead or hydrocarbons from car exhaust or other unseen contaminants. Other hazards can lie in the type of archaeological feature being excavated: wells and privies can be very deep and built into unstable soil, requiring that archaeologists receive special safety training and install shoring equipment to prevent cave-ins. Before excavation, archaeologists prepare a health and safety plan to identify the hazards and tell the field archaeologists the precautions they need to take. DIG DEEPER: Hazardous Working Conditions





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