Ask the Experts

Our Experts, who have volunteered to share their time and information, include researchers, university professors, AIA Board members, ancient art historians, field archaeologists, museum specialists, architectural historians, and more – all with specialized knowledge of specific ancient cultures and subjects.

We have created a catalogue of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ). In the FAQ section are answers to some of the questions archaeologists are most often asked, arranged by topic. If you want to know the meaning of a particular archaeological term, please check our online Glossary.

If you cannot find an answer in the FAQ, please leave a comment! Please be patient, since our volunteer archaeologists are sometimes excavating, teaching, or otherwise occupied, and may not be able to respond immediately.

Comments

Life as an Archaeologist

I've been kicking around an idea for a play based around an archaeological dig. The biggest problem keeping me from starting (is overthinking things, but I digress) is that I'm uninformed on a few details that I really want to get accurate first.

1.) What organizations preside over archaeological digs? Universities, I take it, but are there others?

2.) Where do archaeologists live and/or stay during digs? Do they tend to stay in an area where they have expertise? Or, for example, does an American archaeologist live in America but fly out to Africa to dig at a new site there? During a dig, do they stay in a hotel, or is there somewhere else? Are they typically allowed to bring their spouse and/or children if the situation demands it?

3.) Where do artifacts go after they have been dug up? How exactly do they fall into the hands of museums and private collectors? Who else might end up with them?

I think that's all I have for now. I'm sure more questions will plague me down the road.

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