What Are The Latest Archaeological Tools?

archaeology-4Archaeology may seem fun especially when you think about how much history has been discovered and recorded within the last few decades. However, the truth is that before any major discovery is made, the archaeologist spends countless hours surveying the land and digging through dirt. Were it not for archaeological tools, any archaeological work would be virtually impossible.

When it comes to the latest in archaeological tools, nothing much has changed except for the use of drones for surveying the land. In the 1970s aerial pictures were helpful for surveying areas, especially those that had thick vegetation. But aerial surveys are expensive and were mostly done through satellites and/or helicopters, which are expensive to do without adequate funding.

But all this is beginning to change with drones. A drone, also known as unmanned aerial vehicle or UAV can be used to hold a thermal imaging camera to identify historical features hidden up half-meter below ground. Drones are not cheap, however, between them and satellite imaging, there is a big difference in the price.

The results of the ground imaging are collated to produce a thermal map of an area.

You will be surprised at how much data can be revealed when you use a high-tech drone. There was an archaeologist who was able to outline the details of one village about 1,000 years of age, with structures which had never been seen before, and which might have taken ten years of labor to be discovered the traditional way. The results demonstrated unknown architecture and kivas or circular ceremonial structures.

archaeology-3Drones are more accurate tools aerial imaging because they can cover large areas under an array of wind and climate conditions, all within a fixed altitude and speed. These abilities are crucial because there’s only a brief window of your time to capture imagery.

Of course, drones and areal imaging are only one in the cache of tools that archaeologists need in order to do their job properly. The traditional tools are still being used, however, modern archaeologists are using upgraded versions of these tools.

The most legendary and most used of these traditional tools is the trowel. A trowel looks like a mini shovel and it’s used to take out earth and debris where shovels can’t. Archaeologists are actually divided between a pointed or square-ended trowel, although the winning argument always favors personal choice.

Shovels are another frequently-used tool. They are used because they move more soil in a shorter time, compared to when you are using a trowel.

Screens are also traditional tools that are still being used today. They are utilized to sift the soil for any items of archaeological interest.

Hand brooms and dustpans are another set of tools that are needed in the trade. Brooms help with keeping the “floor” of an archaeological unit clean, especially before an image is taken from it. Dustpans move the soil when archaeologists have started using their trowels. Soil could be shoved to the dustpan then poured into a bucket.

Taking Up Archaeology As a Hobby

archaeology-2Archaeology is something that attracts people from all walks of life. While a lot of professional academics look down on those who practice archaeology as a hobby, sometimes even going as far as to say that the hobbyists are dangerous because they sometimes ruin items in their enthusiasm, when they do attend digs with more experienced people, there is a lot that we can credit the hobbyist archaeologists for.

For example, the late Mick Aston – an accomplished archaeologist and former star of Time Team, got his start in archaeology through one of his school history teachers. This teacher enjoyed archaeology, but was merely a layperson in the field. However, his interest and his willingness to share that interest with a child was enough to inspire that child to go on to become one of the most important public faces of archaeology today.

Dan Carlin, the podcaster behind hardcore histories, is another person who brings history to life for the layperson. Many people are get their first exposure to history through these relatively mass-media channels, and then go on to learn more through formal study later in life.

There are a lot of historical sites that welcome people who want to practice archaeology as a hobby. These sites will allow novices to come along on field walks, and also to do basic work at digs; however, if a beginner thinks that they have found something then they are supposed to inform a more experienced archaeologist who can continue the excavation and do the right preservation work.

archaeology-1The reason that these digs are so important is that they give people a chance to see archaeology in action and to introduce new people to the field. Parents take their children, in a bid to make history seem more exciting than it appears when they are behind a desk in a classroom. Young adults who are excited by the romance of the thought of history come along for a day out. History enthusiasts attend because they want to have a chance to be a part of uncovering something new for the first time, and retirees often enjoy archaeology as an interesting hobby that gets them out of the house, introduces them to new people, and offers some valuable learning opportunities too.

History is a great tool for bonding people from all walks of life. There is something incredible about the idea that just a few feet under the ground there is evidence of what life was like hundreds or even thousands of years ago. Piecing together that puzzle is both romantic and exciting, and for this reason people will always want to be involved in exploring history for the first time. If you have never been on a dig before, take this chance to attend one today. You will be amazed at how much you learn and how exciting it can be to be among the first to uncover signs of historic events in the area near your home.

Maximize Your Coupons

digital coupons“Couponers” are notorious for buying 100 cans of cat food along with a sack of groceries and only paying a few dollars for the lot. How do they do this? Well you might not need 100 cans of cat food but with a few tips and tricks, you can be getting a lot more savings out of your coupons.

Know the Rules

First off, know the coupon policy of your store. Some stores only allow you to use one coupon per item. Others limit the number of coupons you can use per trip or per day. Some stores do not allow home printed coupons.

Secondly, read the fine print on your coupons. Coupons might not apply to sales prices or other offers. They also might only apply at limited times or certain sizes or quantities.

Get Organized

Get an organizer and store your coupons in there. Coupons are no good if you can’t find them when you need them. Make an effort to really organize your coupon by item and date. Use the coupons that will expire soon, first. Most coupons are good for a few months so put newer coupons behind older ones.

couponerUse Coupons with Sales

The first trick with coupons is to use them in conjunction with sales and special deals such as BOGO (buy one get one free) offers. This maximizes your savings. Again, make sure that the store allows you to apply coupons to sales prices. Many times coupons only apply to full-priced items, especially if they are store coupons like the ones from SavingIsta, as opposed to manufacturer’s coupons that you clip from the newspaper.

Research Sales

Do your homework and look through the sales flyers each week in the paper. See what is on sale and pull those coupons. Some stores will even tell you that there is a coupon available that week with a sales item. Make sure you clip that coupon as well.

Coupon Doubling and BOGO Deals

Try to shop on days when stores have double or triple coupon deals. Most will only double coupons up to a dollar. Some stores have weekly double coupon days. Others only do doubling from time to time. That is when you can really save with your coupons.

BOGO is another way to save big. First off, you get two items for the price of one, so that’s a 50% discount right there. Secondly, add a coupon on top of that and you can save 70% or more. This is a good way to stock up on non-perishable items like shampoo, toothpaste, soap, paper goods, condiments, pasta, plastic wrap, etc. The extreme couponers will buy a year’s worth of one item at a time with the right combination of sales and coupons. Be careful though as many stores are now limiting how many of the same type of coupon you can use in a day.

Coupon with Loyalty Cards

Loyalty cards give you extra discounts on top of sales. Many will also give you coupons, bonus bucks, and other discounts such as gas points. Pile all those discounts together. If you know you will get bonus bucks for an item, split your items into two groups and pay for them separately. Put the items that will give you bonus bucks in the first group, get the bonus bucks, and use them to pay for the second group. This only works if you can apply your bonus bucks right away instead of having to use them at a later date.

With a little planning, a good organizer, and sales, you can be on your way to saving big with coupons. Couponing isn’t not hard but it does take some homework and planning your shopping trips.