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Mississippi Valley Archaeology Center

Tool Kit

September 5, 2014

Tool kitAn archaeologist’s tool kit is comprised of several tools, along with the larger tools needed for excavation.

Tools in the kit to the left include bags, tags, twisties, a film canister to hold fragile artifacts, pencil, marker, trowel, root cutter, wooden pick, two brushes, linelevel, string, nails to mark the unit border, rulers, tape measure, and files.







Files: Used out in the “field” or on an archaeological dig, files are essential for keeping shovels, trowels and other items sharpened.




Line level



Line Level: A small level that sits on top of a string that is attached to a datum point.  The string, when pulled taut, will allow an archaeologist to use the level and then measure the depth below the datum point (an extremely useful tool on a dig!!).






Probe: Soil probes are used to find the depths of soil layers of feature stains.








Screen: Field screens are used to catch artifacts that are larger than the 1/4″ mesh.








Shovel: Archaeologists generally use curved spades for shovel tests and flat shovels for skim shoveling excavation units.







Trowel: This tool is used for carefully removing layers of soil and creating flat profiles and unit floors.