Understanding the Past

Evidence in the Unwritten

Learn from a real archaeologist about what methods we use to learn about the past.

As you watch the video, consider the following questions:

  • What is the difference between excavation and survey archaeology? 
  • Why might gaps in evidence exist?
  • How could this skew our understanding?
  • In what ways can we ensure a fuller picture of the past?
  • Can we really know about the past from things left behind?
  • Can we describe the past accurately through objects?
  • What do we miss when we rely solely on objects?
  • What can we do about gaps in archaeological records?
Field Museum Anthropology curator Gary Feinman shares information about his field work and research, and why he is interested in studying the past through survey and excavation archaeology.