Archaeological Classification and Ancient Technologies
The next four chapters take us into the laboratory, where much, if not most, archaeological research unfolds these days. With the advent of increasingly sophisticated analytical methods drawn from many sciences, a great deal of archaeology is now carried out in air-conditioned laboratories rather than in the open air. Excavations and field surveys are the popular image of archaeologists at work, but in fact hundreds of professional archaeologists rarely go into the field. Their work lies almost entirely in laboratories. Much of this work is slow-moving and unspectactular but nevertheless of the greatest importance. Much of this routine surrounds the classification of artifacts and the study of ancient technology, the subjects discussed in this chapter, but both are both challenging and fascinating.