Excavation, once the primary activity of archaeologists, is now the strategy of last re-
sort because it destroys the archaeological record. Chapter 7 describes the process of
archaeological excavation, various approaches to site testing and investigation, and the
basics of recording and stratigraphic observation. We stress that there’s no such thing
as a standardized way of digging archaeological sites. Much of the chapter is devoted
to summaries of some of the major challenges faced by excavators. We also discuss the
ethical issues surrounding the excavation of human burials.